earth·​work | \ˈərth-ˌwərk \

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

And outside present-day St. Louis, Missouri, 10,000 people helped erect massive earthwork pyramids into a city now known as Cahokia around the time the real-life Macbeth ruled Scotland. Russell Contreras, The Seattle Times, "PBS docuseries ‘Native America’ recreates cultures pre-1492," 23 Oct. 2018 In 2010, the Dutch renovated Fort de Roovere, part of the earthworks erected to protect the Water Line when besieged. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "Moses Bridge: The Netherlands' Bridge Under Troubled Water," 6 Aug. 2018 In later digs Noël Hume determined that the ditch alongside the earthwork cuts across the workshop—suggesting the fort was built after the lab and possibly wasn't even Elizabethan. Andrew Lawler, Science | AAAS, "Archaeologists start a new hunt for the fabled Lost Colony of the New World," 6 June 2018 Read more: The announcement was made during a news conference Thursday, June 21 at Grand Rapids Project X — an asphalt earthwork built in 1974 between Lookout Park and Belknap Park. Wzzm-tv (grand Rapids), Detroit Free Press, "ArtPrize will take place every other year in Grand Rapids," 21 June 2018 This strategy is allowing roadway rebuilding more quickly and at a lower cost than other alternatives such as structures, a tunnel or major earthwork that puts additional fill into the ocean, the transportation department said. Fox News, "California eyes July for reopening iconic Highway 1 stretch," 13 June 2018 Digs near the earthwork in the 1890s and 1940s yielded little. Andrew Lawler, Science | AAAS, "Archaeologists start a new hunt for the fabled Lost Colony of the New World," 6 June 2018 The Native Americans anticipated Olmsted by many hundreds of years and built elaborate earthworks and burial mounds all over the midwest. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "Lincoln, lizard mounds, angels, devil’s curses, and junk food magnates: midwestern cemeteries have ’em all," 30 May 2018 In back, the gentle rises in the lawn are actually part of a Maya Lin earthwork, Lay of the Land. Ted Loos, WSJ, "The Hamptons Oasis That Barnes & Noble Built," 24 May 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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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of earthwork was in 1633

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English Language Learners Definition of earthwork

: a raised bank or wall made of soil

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