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cheval-de-frise

[shuh-val-duh-freez] /ʃəˈvæl dəˈfriz/
noun, plural chevaux-de-frise
[shuh-voh-duh-freez] /ʃəˈvoʊ dəˈfriz/ (Show IPA),
Usually, chevaux-de-frise
1.
a portable obstacle, usually a sawhorse, covered with projecting spikes or barbed wire, for military use in closing a passage, breaking in a defensive wall, etc.
Origin
1680-1690
1680-90; < French; literally, horse of Friesland, so called because first used by Frisians
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cheval de frise

cheval-de-frise

/ʃəˌvældəˈfriːz/
noun (pl) chevaux-de-frise (ʃəˌvəʊdəˈfriːz)
1.
a portable barrier of spikes, sword blades, etc, used to obstruct the passage of cavalry
2.
a row of spikes or broken glass set as an obstacle on top of a wall
Word Origin
C17: from French, literally: horse from Friesland (where it was first used)
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 cheval de frise
n.

1680s, from French, literally "horse of Frisia," supposedly because it was first employed there as a defense against cavalry; from French cheval "horse" (see cavalier (n.)). Plural chevaux de frise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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