block·​house ˈbläk-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce blockhouse (audio)
: a structure of heavy timbers formerly used for military defense with sides loopholed and pierced for gunfire and often with a projecting upper story
: a small easily defended building for protection from enemy fire
: a building usually of reinforced concrete serving as an observation point for an operation likely to be accompanied by heat, blast, or radiation hazard

Illustration of blockhouse

Illustration of blockhouse
  • blockhouse 1a

Examples of blockhouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nearby, several of his men sat in the shade of a small blockhouse, holding automatic weapons. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 17 July 2023 These bolts anchored the blockhouse to the slab, Penders said. Rick Neale, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2023 This makeshift blockhouse marks where technicians launched Bumper 8 on July 24, 1950 — America's first rocket from the Cape. Rick Neale, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2023 The news touched off a wild celebration in the blockhouse hard by the Vanguard launching platform. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Mar. 2023 The ultimate penalty was meted out to him in a rural penitentiary on the evening of Nov. 10, 2009, in a stark, concrete blockhouse called L Unit, as Meyers’s brother, Bob Meyers, looked on. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2022 Few, though, wander over to see the actual Fort Kent, a wooden blockhouse constructed during the Aroostook War of 1838-9, a border dispute between England and the United States that ended without a shot being fired. New York Times, 15 June 2021 To see the historic blockhouse that once stood at the site, head east to Courthouse Square Park in downtown Dayton. oregonlive, 29 May 2021 Originally built to limit conflict between white settlers and local Native American communities, the blockhouse was later used for storage and as a jail on the Grand Ronde Reservation. oregonlive, 29 May 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blockhouse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of blockhouse was in 1615

Dictionary Entries Near blockhouse

Cite this Entry

“Blockhouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


block·​house -ˌhau̇s How to pronounce blockhouse (audio)
: a building of heavy timbers or of concrete built with holes in its sides through which persons inside may fire out at an enemy
: a building used as an observation point for an operation likely to be accompanied by heat, blast, or radiation hazard

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