Definition of glacis in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    hill, hillside, hillock, bank, rise, escarpment, scarp
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: from French, from Old French glacier ‘to slip’, from glace ‘ice’, based on Latin glacies.