[breyk-waw-ter, -wot-er]
a barrier that breaks the force of waves, as before a harbor.

1715–25; break + water Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
breakwater (ˈbreɪkˌwɔːtə)
1.  Also called: mole a massive wall built out into the sea to protect a shore or harbour from the force of waves
2.  another name for groyne

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1721, from break (v.) + water.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
breakwater   (brāk'wô'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
An offshore barrier, such as a jetty, that protects a harbor or shore from the full impact of waves.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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