noun (1)
\ˈdīk \

Definition of dike 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 civil engineering : an artificial watercourse : ditch

2 civil engineering

a : a bank (see bank entry 1 sense 1) usually of earth constructed to control or confine water : levee

b : a barrier preventing passage especially of something undesirable

3a civil engineering : a raised causeway

b geology : a tabular body of igneous rock that has been injected while molten into a fissure


diked; diking

Definition of dike (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

civil engineering

1 : to surround or protect with a dike (see dike entry 1)

2 : to drain by a dike


noun (2)

less common spelling of

usually offensive

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Other Words from dike


diker noun

Synonyms for dike

Synonyms: Noun (1)

dam, embankment, head, levee

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Examples of dike in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The southern banks along Svensen Slough, a side channel of the Columbia River, have transformed over time from historic spruce swamp into fields diked off by European settlers for farming. Edward Stratton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Farmers reshape land along Columbia River to bring salmon back," 2 Apr. 2018 Aerial photos show portions of the land – diked and drained for agriculture by the 1930s and cut in half by US Highway 30 by the 1970s – slowly returning to wetlands as levees broke down and breached. Edward Stratton, The Christian Science Monitor, "Farmers reshape land along Columbia River to bring salmon back," 2 Apr. 2018 The tank area is believed to be diked and lined to contain spilled fuel. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Human error blamed for 22,000-gallon spill at Savoonga tank farm," 15 Mar. 2018 That was before humans drained and diked estuaries to build cities, grow crops, and make salt. National Geographic, "How the Bay Area Is Restoring Nature's Delicate Balance," 13 June 2017

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

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dike

Noun (1)

Middle English, probably from Old Norse dīk ditch and Middle Low German dīk dam; akin to Old English dīc ditch — more at ditch


see dike entry 1

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Time Traveler for dike

The first known use of dike was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for dike



English Language Learners Definition of dike

: a long narrow hole that is dug in the ground to carry water : a ditch or trench

: a bank or mound of earth that is built to control water and especially to protect an area from flooding


\ˈdīk \

Kids Definition of dike

1 : a long trench dug in the earth to carry water

2 : a mound of earth built to control water

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More from Merriam-Webster on dike

See words that rhyme with dike

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dike

Spanish Central: Translation of dike

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dike

Comments on dike

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full of whispering sounds

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