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"a fence of stakes," c.1600, from Middle French palissade (15c.), from Provençal palissada, from palissa "a stake or paling," from Gallo-Romance *palicea, from Latin palus "stake" (see pale (n.)). Military sense is attested from 1690s. The Palisades, along the Hudson River opposite New York City, so called by 1823.