break·​wa·​ter ˈbrāk-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce breakwater (audio)
: an offshore structure (such as a wall) protecting a harbor or beach from the force of waves

Examples of breakwater in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The craft ended up battered and tossed against the Long Beach breakwater near the mouth of Alamitos Bay, with those aboard scrambling up the rocks, temporarily safe but stranded and in danger. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 5 Feb. 2024 Some of the biggest waves hit the breakwater at Children’s Pool in La Jolla, leading to its temporary closure. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Dec. 2023 Dotted along the shoreline are dredgers completing work to add artificial sand, groynes, jetties and breakwaters to prevent further coastal erosion. Time, 3 Aug. 2023 By not having a working relationship, plans currently put the southern breakwater on Park District land several feet shorter than the breakwater in Ishbia’s permits to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. Alex Hulvalchick, Chicago Tribune, 17 Jan. 2023 The Shores’ Big Bang happened in 1926, when Frederick William Kellogg launched a $900,000 plan to dig a harbor, build two breakwaters and create an exclusive hangout for the sailing set. San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Oct. 2023 Erin Clark/Globe Staff Chris Corbett walked along a breakwater in Scituate Harbor as huge wave breaks behind him. Shanna Kelly,, 16 Sep. 2023 The Justice Department's suit contends that the move violates Section 10 of the U.S. Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must sign off on any plans to place a wharf, pier, boom breakwater, bulkhead, jetty or other structures in navigable waters. John C. Moritz, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 Once construction of the breakwaters is completed in 2024, a sand berm and marsh fill will be placed behind them. Margaret Kates |, al, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'breakwater.' 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

circa 1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of breakwater was circa 1769

Dictionary Entries Near breakwater

Cite this Entry

“Breakwater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


break·​wa·​ter ˈbrāk-ˌwȯt-ər How to pronounce breakwater (audio)
: an offshore structure (as a wall) to protect a harbor or beach from the force of waves

More from Merriam-Webster on breakwater

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