"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[boo l-werk, -wawrk, buhl-] /ˈbʊl wərk, -wɔrk, ˈbʌl-/
a wall of earth or other material built for defense; rampart.
any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance:
The new dam was a bulwark against future floods.
any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt:
Religion was his bulwark.
Usually, bulwarks. Nautical. a solid wall enclosing the perimeter of a weather or main deck for the protection of persons or objects on deck.
verb (used with object)
to fortify or protect with a bulwark; secure by or as if by a fortification.
Origin of bulwark
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English bulwerk, probably < Middle Dutch bolwerc, equivalent to bol(l)e bole1 + werk work (noun); cf. boulevard
3. support, buttress, mainstay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bulwark
  • It's our first and maybe our most important bulwark against disease.
  • Journalism is supposed to be yet another, a critical bulwark in the chain of reason.
  • Most important, the rainforest is also a bulwark against global warming.
  • It sounds like a sitcom, but until last week it was emotional truth without legal bulwark.
  • The same bumpy sand roads are there behind the rolling bulwark of dunes.
  • The younger members formed a sort of bulwark around him.
  • He swung away and trotted back up the canyon from whence he came, to disappear at a lope toward the bulwark of the distance ridge.
  • The bulwark is being restored and enlarged so as to gain space for an assembly hall, a large banquet room and a museum.
  • These fees are a handy bulwark against shocks to the advertising market, and they tend to go up faster than inflation.
  • So far, expectations of inflation remain stable: that sentiment is itself a welcome bulwark against deflation.
British Dictionary definitions for bulwark


a wall or similar structure used as a fortification; rampart
a person or thing acting as a defence against injury, annoyance, etc
(often pl) (nautical) a solid vertical fencelike structure along the outward sides of a deck
a breakwater or mole
(transitive) to defend or fortify with or as if with a bulwark
Word Origin
C15: via Dutch from Middle High German bolwerk, from bol plank, bole1 + werkwork
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 bulwark

early 15c., from Middle Dutch bulwerke or Middle High German bolwerc, probably from bole "plank, tree trunk" (from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell;" see bole) + werc "work" (see work (n.)). Figurative sense is from 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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