ab·​a·​tis ˈa-bə-ˌtē How to pronounce abatis (audio) ˈa-bə-təs How to pronounce abatis (audio)
plural abatis ˈa-bə-ˌtēz How to pronounce abatis (audio) or abatises ˈa-bə-tə-səz How to pronounce abatis (audio)
: a defensive obstacle formed by felled trees with sharpened branches facing the enemy

Word History


borrowed from French, literally, "act of felling, things felled," going back to Old French abateiz, from abatre "to strike down, fell" + -eiz, -eis, resultative suffix, going back to Vulgar Latin *-ātīcium, neuter of *-ātīcius, from Latin -ātus -ate entry 3 + -īcius, adjective suffix — more at abate

First Known Use

1757, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abatis was in 1757

Dictionary Entries Near abatis

Cite this Entry

“Abatis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abatis. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!