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or foss

[fos, faws] /fɒs, fɔs/
a moat or defensive ditch in a fortification, usually filled with water.
any ditch, trench, or canal.
Origin of fosse
1350-1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin fossa fossa1


[fos-ee] /ˈfɒs i/
Robert Louis ("Bob") 1927–87, U.S. dancer, choreographer, and theater and film director. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fosse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fosse has since been filled up, on account of the malaria produced by the stagnant water which it contained.

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • He leaped from the wall into the fosse, a height of thirty feet and upwards.

  • He looked over the railing of the fosse to find the old silence undisturbed.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
  • Then she returned, took her banner, and stood on the brink of the fosse.

  • Then hours passed away; for the fosse would have to be emptied before the drain leading from the dungeon could be opened.

    The Cornet of Horse G. A. Henty
  • The Count is at this moment cooling his heels in the fosse cell.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for fosse


a ditch or moat, esp one dug as a fortification
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin fossa; see fossa1
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 fosse

early 14c. (late 13c. in place names), "ditch, trench," mid-15c., from Old French fosse "ditch, grave, dungeon" (12c.), from Latin fossa "ditch," in full fossa terra, literally "dug earth," from fem. past participle of fodere "to dig" (see fossil).

The Fosse-way (early 12c.), one of the four great Roman roads of Britain, probably was so called from the ditch on either side of it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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