[par-uh-pit, -pet]
a defensive wall or elevation, as of earth or stone, in a fortification. See diag. under bastion.
an elevation raised above the main wall or rampart of a permanent fortification.
any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like.

1575–85; < Italian parapetto, equivalent to para- para-2 + petto chest, breast < Latin pectus

parapeted, adjective
parapetless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
parapet (ˈpærəpɪt, -ˌpɛt)
1.  a low wall or railing along the edge of a balcony, roof, etc
2.  Also called: breastwork a rampart, mound of sandbags, bank, etc, in front of a trench, giving protection from fire from the front
[C16: from Italian parapetto, literally: chest-high wall, from para-² + petto, from Latin pectus breast]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1590, from M.Fr. parapet "breastwork," from It. parapetto, from para- "defense" (from L. parare "prepare") + petto "breast," from L. pectus (see pectoral).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And so skiers will call a snowboard a parapet.
His name is on the casino's parapet, the two marquees and slot machines.
In Cardiff this week a professor of sociology at last put his head over the
  parapet to reclaim his discipline's place in the sun.
As soon as the blocks of stones on the parapet were spent, he turned to this
  latter heap.
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