cheval-de-frise

noun

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)
1
: a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire
2
: a protecting line (as of spikes) on top of a wall
usually used in plural

Word History

Etymology

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cheval-de-frise. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY