Definition of glacis in US English:



  • A gently sloping bank, in particular one that slopes down from a fort, exposing attackers to the defenders' missiles.

    • ‘Built in the glacis style, there is no berm but a continuous 11 m. slope from the ditch bottom to the bank top.’
    • ‘On 21 May, having sapped up to the glacis of the city ramparts, which heavy bombardment had almost made untenable, Versaillais troops entered the city.’
    • ‘Its purpose was that of a glacis of an ancient castle.’
    • ‘Abutting the glacis of the Acropolis at Athens is the great theatre of Dionysis.’
    hill, hillside, hillock, bank, rise, escarpment, scarp
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Late 17th century: from French, from Old French glacier ‘to slip’, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies.