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barbican

[bahr-bi-kuh n] /ˈbɑr bɪ kən/
noun
1.
an outwork of a fortified place, as a castle.
2.
a defensive outpost of any sort.
Also, barbacan.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English barbecan, barbican < Old French barbacane or Medieval Latin barbacana, perhaps ≪ Persian bālāḥāna terrace over a roof, upper floor, altered by association with Latin barba beard, a beard marking the front or face of a thing
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for barbican

barbican

/ˈbɑːbɪkən/
noun
1.
a walled outwork or tower to protect a gate or drawbridge of a fortification
2.
a watchtower projecting from a fortification
Word Origin
C13: from Old French barbacane, from Medieval Latin barbacana, of unknown origin

Barbican

/ˈbɑːbɪkən/
noun
1.
the Barbican, a building complex in the City of London: includes residential developments and the Barbican Arts Centre (completed 1982) housing concert and exhibition halls, theatres, cinemas, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for barbican
n.

"outer fortification of a city or castle," mid-13c., from Old French barbacane (12c.), a general Romanic word, perhaps ultimately from Arabic or Persian (cf. bab-khanah "gate-house").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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