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[breyk-waw-ter, -wot-er] /ˈbreɪkˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər/
a barrier that breaks the force of waves, as before a harbor.
Origin of breakwater
1715-25; break + water Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for breakwater
Historical Examples
  • She remembered running over the breakwater at Sheerness and finding the boat.

    Sons and Lovers David Herbert Lawrence
  • Outside the breakwater, the "Kearsarge" was doing the same thing.

  • The vessel often drops anchor far from land, in channels having neither wharf nor breakwater.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • “We must form a raft to serve as a breakwater,” said Mr Griffiths.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • On the sixth and last day the umpires were obliged to alter the course owing to the heavy sea running outside the breakwater.

    Yachting Vol. 1 Various.
  • There were boys bathing still from the breakwater of the rocks.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • There was no time to be lost; she did not want any one to find her upon the breakwater, and she would stay there but a moment.

    Mamie's Watchword Joanna H. (Joanna Hooe) Mathews
  • Yes, but his hand got well the moment the Mayflower was beyond the breakwater.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Thus the mamma, looking round a huge groin of breakwater a few yards off.

    Somehow Good William de Morgan
  • Soon so many of them were in that the throng of the breakwater was noticeably smaller.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
British Dictionary definitions for breakwater


Also called mole. a massive wall built out into the sea to protect a shore or harbour from the force of waves
another name for groyne
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 breakwater

1721, from break (v.) + water (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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breakwater in Science
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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