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bulwark

[boo l-werk, -wawrk, buhl-] /ˈbʊl wərk, -wɔrk, ˈbʌl-/
noun
1.
a wall of earth or other material built for defense; rampart.
2.
any protection against external danger, injury, or annoyance:
The new dam was a bulwark against future floods.
3.
any person or thing giving strong support or encouragement in time of need, danger, or doubt:
Religion was his bulwark.
4.
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)
5.
to fortify or protect with a bulwark; secure by or as if by a fortification.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English bulwerk, probably < Middle Dutch bolwerc, equivalent to bol(l)e bole1 + werk work (noun); cf. boulevard
Synonyms
3. support, buttress, mainstay.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bulwarked

bulwark

/ˈbʊlwək/
noun
1.
a wall or similar structure used as a fortification; rampart
2.
a person or thing acting as a defence against injury, annoyance, etc
3.
(often pl) (nautical) a solid vertical fencelike structure along the outward sides of a deck
4.
a breakwater or mole
verb
5.
(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
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Word Origin and History for bulwarked

bulwark

n.

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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