che·​val-de-frise shə-ˌval-də-ˈfrēz How to pronounce cheval-de-frise (audio)
plural chevaux-de-frise shə-ˌvō-də-ˈfrēz How to pronounce cheval-de-frise (audio)
: a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire
: a protecting line (as of spikes) on top of a wall
usually used in plural

Word History


French, literally, horse from Friesland

First Known Use

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cheval-de-frise was in 1668

Dictionary Entries Near cheval-de-frise

Cite this Entry

“Cheval-de-frise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

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