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 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 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 Today, 80 out of 120 earthen mounds dating from A.D. 1050 to 1200 still exist, including the 100-foot-tall Monks Mound, the largest earthwork in North America and the only mound visitors can climb. Andrea Sachs,, "This summer, stop by the 23 U.S. locales that have risen to become UNESCO World Heritage sites," 4 May 2018 The immense earthworks the war left in Europe and Asia will endure long after the official monuments have been carted off to make room for new subdivisions. Maya Dukmasova, Chicago Reader, "Archive Dive / History / News On winning wars and losing memories," 18 Apr. 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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Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Earthwork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce earthwork (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of earthwork

: a raised bank or wall made of soil

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