excavation and piling of earth in connection with an engineering operation.
Military. a construction formed chiefly of earth for protection against enemy fire, used in both offensive and defensive operations.
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.

1625–35; earth + work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
earthwork (ˈɜːθˌwɜːk)
1.  excavation of earth, as in engineering construction
2.  a fortification made of earth

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1630s, from earth + work.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
It's a huge earthwork carved into the countryside about three thousand years ago.
If commercial earthwork software is not available, there are several acceptable methods of manually computing cross-section areas.
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