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[buhlk-hed] /ˈbʌlkˌhɛd/
Nautical. any of various wall-like constructions inside a vessel, as for forming watertight compartments, subdividing space, or strengthening the structure.
Aeronautics. a transverse partition or reinforcing frame in the body of an airplane.
Civil Engineering.
  1. a partition built in a subterranean passage to prevent the passage of air, water, or mud.
  2. a retaining structure of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete, used for shore protection and in harbor works.
Building Trades.
  1. a horizontal or inclined outside door over a stairway leading to a cellar.
  2. a boxlike structure, as on a roof, covering a stairwell or other opening.
1490-1500; bulk2 + head
Related forms
bulkheaded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for bulkhead
  • Contract to install dolphins and bumper guard system for the protection of the existing bulkhead.
  • Property owners are finding they don't need to give up their beach for a bulkhead.
  • Also, new work to the bulkhead consisting of a new cap is proposed.
  • The bench marks are on the old bridge and on the bulkhead on the north and south sides of the old bridge.
  • One of the primary purposes of the bulkhead would be to control blowouts in the future.
  • Dunnage was used to wedge the bundles against the bulkhead.
  • None of the lower hull forward of the midships bulkhead remains standing.
British Dictionary definitions for bulkhead


any upright wall-like partition in a ship, aircraft, vehicle, etc
a wall or partition built to hold back earth, fire, water, etc
Word Origin
C15: probably from bulk projecting framework, from Old Norse bálkr partition + head
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 bulkhead
late 15c., perhaps from bulk "framework projecting in the front of a shop" (1580s), which is perhaps from O.N. bolkr "beam, balk" (see balk).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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