bulwark

noun
bul·wark | \ ˈbu̇l-(ˌ)wərk , -ˌwȯrk ; ˈbəl-(ˌ)wərk ; sense 3 also ˈbə-ˌläk \

Definition of bulwark 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a solid wall-like structure raised for defense : rampart

b : breakwater, seawall building a bulwark in the harbor

2 : a strong support or protection democratic principles that stand as a bulwark against tyranny a bulwark of freedom

3 nautical : the side of a ship above the upper deck usually used in plural

bulwark

verb
bulwarked; bulwarking; bulwarks

Definition of bulwark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fortify or safeguard with a bulwark ability to bulwark a moral choice —Margaret Mead

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bulwark

Synonyms: Verb

cover, defend, fence, fend, forfend, guard, keep, protect, safeguard, screen, secure, shield, ward

Antonyms: Verb

assail, assault, attack

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Examples of bulwark in a Sentence

Noun

democratic principles that stand as a bulwark against tyranny

Verb

vowed to use any means necessary to bulwark the country agai nst a terrorist attack

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For almost a half-century, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a potent bulwark against efforts to obstruct Americans’ lawful right to cast a ballot. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How the Supreme Court Kills Roe v. Wade," 11 July 2018 This still preserves for the Court a large role in protecting fundamental rights and the structure of the separation of powers that is a bulwark against tyranny. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Kavanaugh for the Court," 9 July 2018 Then, the court struck down lower court rulings that allowed public-sector unions, a bulwark of the party, to deduct dues from state and local government workers’ paychecks. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "What are Dems to do about the SupCo?," 27 June 2018 Now, California’s right to go its own way—and other states’ right to follow—has become a bulwark against the EPA’s move to roll back emissions standards. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Colorado Joins California In the Fight for Cleaner Cars," 21 June 2018 Russia may be arming the Taliban as a bulwark against the Islamic State. Gardiner Harris, New York Times, "On Brief Visit, Pompeo Says U.S. Is Afghanistan’s ‘Enduring Partner’," 9 July 2018 In other words, valuing science for pure pleasure is more of a bulwark against the politicization of science than facts alone. Michael Shermer, Scientific American, "Science Denial versus Science Pleasure," 1 Jan. 2018 Such ruptures in the government are unfamiliar in Germany, where Ms. Merkel has ruled as chancellor for more than 12 years and in recent times has been the bulwark of stability as the European Union lurched from one crisis to another. James Marson, WSJ, "Future of Germany’s Angela Merkel in Question After Coalition Allies Reject Migration Deal," 1 July 2018 In the 1950s and ’60s, the country was a bulwark against the communist fervor sweeping Southeast Asia, and during the Vietnam War, Bangkok was a vital staging post for U.S. troops. Time, "Thailand’s Leader Promised to Restore Democracy. Instead He's Tightening His Grip," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even Einstein, the prototypical loner, was bulwarked by a vast correspondence of arguing and discussion. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Bob Dylan Won. But in Science, the Times They Aren’t A-Changin’.," 31 Oct. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bulwark.' 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 bulwark

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bulwark

Noun

Middle English bulwerke, from Middle Dutch bolwerc, from bolle tree trunk + werc work

Verb

see bulwark entry 1

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Learn More about bulwark

Dictionary Entries near bulwark

bulto

bultow

Bulu

bulwark

bulwark plating

Bulwer

Bulwer's petrel

Statistics for bulwark

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bulwark

The first known use of bulwark was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for bulwark

bulwark

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bulwark

: something that provides protection for or against something

: a wall that is built for protection

: a wall that is part of a ship's sides and that is above the ship's upper deck

bulwark

noun
bul·wark | \ ˈbu̇l-wərk \

Kids Definition of bulwark

1 : a solid structure like a wall built for defense against an enemy

2 : something that defends or protects

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Comments on bulwark

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