earth·​work | \ ˈərth-ˌwərk How to pronounce earthwork (audio) \

Definition of earthwork

1 : an embankment or other construction made of earth especially : one used as a field fortification
2 : the operations connected with excavations and embankments of earth
3 : a work of art consisting of a portion of land modified by an artist

Examples of earthwork in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The earliest section was an outer circular earthwork, formed by a moat and two embankments on either side. National Geographic, "Stonehenge was part of a multi-monument complex. Here's how it fit together," 12 Nov. 2020 Veit’s services include demolition, excavation and earthwork, installation of underground utilities, industrial cleaning and construction waste disposal and recycling, Reimann said. Todd Nelson Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Veit's new president instills lean principles at specialty contracting firm," 25 Oct. 2020 Filled in by 400 years of erosion and covered by topsoil and grass, the pre-Columbian earthwork shows up in thermal imaging but is otherwise nearly invisible from above. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists with drones discover pre-Columbian earthworks in Kansas," 11 Sep. 2020 The rounded earthwork, which may be part of the largest pre-Hispanic settlement north of Mexico, appears to be what’s known as a council circle. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Drone Imaging Reveals Pre-Hispanic ‘Great Settlement’ Beneath Kansas Ranch," 16 Sep. 2020 Farther north, settlements across the Great Plains started building earthwork fortifications and palisades between the 1400s and the 1700s, which suggests that conflict between settlements was becoming more common. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists with drones discover pre-Columbian earthworks in Kansas," 11 Sep. 2020 The Serpent Twin is an earthwork piece of public art — an effigy mound of soil similar to those found in Cahokia, Illinois (home to Monks Mound). Darcel Rockett,, "Happy Indigenous People’s Day: Artist Santiago X gives us a serpent and mounds that connect to Illinois’ indigenous past," 14 Oct. 2019 The Springhouse School and Log Cabin are significant, as are the Native American earthworks. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's TML: You're in for a treat, Cincinnati fans. Positive thoughts on Bengals, UC, Reds.," 5 Sep. 2019 And archaeological work at Tikal and a few strategic points farther west has revealed some earthworks. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "What 61,000 hidden structures reveal about Maya civilization," 28 Sep. 2018

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

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of earthwork was in 1633

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Cite this Entry

“Earthwork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of earthwork

: a raised bank or wall made of soil

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