Maginot line

[mazh-uh-noh; French ma-zhee-noh]
a zone of heavy defensive fortifications erected by France along its eastern border in the years preceding World War II, but outflanked in 1940 when the German army attacked through Belgium.
any elaborate line of defense or set of barriers.

1925–30; after André Maginot (1877–1932), French minister of war Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
Maginot line (ˈmæʒɪˌnəʊ, French maʒino)
1.  a line of fortifications built by France to defend its border with Germany prior to World War II; it proved ineffective against the German invasion
2.  any line of defence in which blind confidence is placed
[named after André Maginot (1877--1932), French minister of war when the fortifications were begun in 1929]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Maginot Line
fortifications built along the north and east borders of France before World War II, in which the French placed unreasonable confidence, named for André Maginot (1877-1932), Fr. Minister of Defense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
Maginot line [(mazh-uh-noh, maj-uh-noh)]

A chain of defensive fortifications built by France on its eastern border between World War I and World War II. The Maginot line was designed to stop any future invasion by Germany, but it was never completed. In World War II, the Germans conquered France by going around the Maginot line to the north.

Note: The expression Maginot mentality refers to any military strategy that is exclusively defensive and therefore flawed. It also refers to military planning that is aimed at the past. This way of thinking is sometimes referred to as “fighting the last war.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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