noun \ˈdīk\

: a long narrow hole that is dug in the ground to carry water : a ditch or trench

: a bank or mound of earth that is built to control water and especially to protect an area from flooding

Full Definition of DIKE

:  an artificial watercourse :  ditch
a :  a bank usually of earth constructed to control or confine water :  levee
b :  a barrier preventing passage especially of something undesirable
a :  a raised causeway
b :  a tabular body of igneous rock that has been injected while molten into a fissure

Examples of DIKE

  1. <an elaborate system of dikes built to protect the lowlands from the relentless onslaught of the sea>
  2. <water flowed along the dike to the small pond>

Origin of DIKE

Middle English, probably from Old Norse dīk ditch and Middle Low German dīk dam; akin to Old English dīc ditch — more at ditch
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice

Rhymes with DIKE



Definition of DIKE

transitive verb
:  to surround or protect with a dike
:  to drain by a dike
dik·er noun

First Known Use of DIKE

14th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice


Definition of DIKE

variant of dyke


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Bank, usually of earth, constructed to control or confine water. Dikes were purely defensive at first but later became a means to acquire polders (tracts of land reclaimed from a body of water through the construction of offshore dikes roughly parallel to the shoreline). After a dike is built, the polder is drained by pumping out the water. Where the land surface is above low-tide level, tide gates discharge water into the sea at low tide and automatically close to prevent reentry of seawater at high tide. To reclaim lands that are below low-tide level, the water must be pumped over the dikes. The most notable example of polder construction is the system adjacent to Holland's IJsselmeer (Zuider Zee) barrier dam. If the Netherlands were to lose the protection of its dikes, its most densely populated portion would be inundated by the sea and rivers.


Next Word in the Dictionary: dikegrave
Previous Word in the Dictionary: dik–dik
All Words Near: dike

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up dike? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).