break·​wa·​ter | \ ˈbrāk-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce breakwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Definition of breakwater

: 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 And then my favorite, the harbor lighthouse, Angels Gate, 73 feet high, defying the bullying seas since 1913 at the end of a nearly two-mile-long stone breakwater. Los Angeles Times, "Sick of loud noises and bright lights? Sorry, L.A. has always been like that," 6 Apr. 2021 The suggested fix would cost $13.3 million and would have placed 98,000 cubic yards of coarse beach sand next to the Superior Entry breakwater every decade for 50 years. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "Duluth seeks long-term solution to Park Point erosion," 1 Apr. 2021 The work includes the addition of a bulkhead, dock and pier reconstruction and a rock breakwater. Kim Chatelain | Contributing Writer,, "Land preservation will also save Madisonville's beloved lighthouse at the river," 6 Dec. 2020 Art Deco lighthouse on the breakwater, where ice sometimes builds up in whimsical formations. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Frozen falls, lake views and castles: 3 winter day trips from Milwaukee," 27 Nov. 2020 The agency's proposal includes a floating breakwater offshore and some nonstructural measures, such as raising homes not situated behind the sea wall. Michelle Liu, The Christian Science Monitor, "Should Charleston wall itself off from rising sea levels?," 23 Nov. 2020 Design elements proposed include a shoreline reduction bulkhead; a dock and pier reconstruction; and a rock breakwater. Staff Reports,, "Parish Council upholds Dove Park Ridge rezoning," 16 Nov. 2020 For the last five years, Ximena Velez-Zuazo has been monitoring the playful antics of a colony of Humboldt penguins living on a breakwater off the central coast of Peru. Anne Showalter, Smithsonian Magazine, "How the Revolutionary Thinker Alexander von Humboldt Helped to Create the Smithsonian," 17 Sep. 2020 Undaunted by the muggy heat and mosquitoes of late summer, Mrs Chen and three dozen other volunteers sort river debris on a concrete breakwater, before weighing and recording each pile on a smartphone app. The Economist, "Chaguan China’s authoritarian approach won’t save the environment," 12 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breakwater.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breakwater

circa 1769, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for breakwater

Time Traveler

The first known use of breakwater was circa 1769

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Last Updated

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakwater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of breakwater

: a wall that is built out into the sea to protect a harbor or beach from the force of waves


break·​wa·​ter | \ ˈbrāk-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce breakwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Kids Definition of breakwater

: an offshore wall to protect a beach or a harbor from the sea

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