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earthwork

[urth-wurk] /ˈɜrθˌwɜrk/
noun
1.
excavation and piling of earth in connection with an engineering operation.
2.
Military. a construction formed chiefly of earth for protection against enemy fire, used in both offensive and defensive operations.
3.
an artistic work that consists of a large-scale alteration or modification of an area of land in a configuration designed by an artist or of an artist's sculptural installation, as in a museum or gallery, of soil, rock, or similar elemental materials.
Origin
1625-1635
1625-35; earth + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for earth work

earthwork

/ˈɜːθˌwɜːk/
noun
1.
excavation of earth, as in engineering construction
2.
a fortification made of earth
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 earth work

earthwork

n.

1630s, from earth + work (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðbyrig; Old English eorðweorc meant "work on the land."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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