em·​bank·​ment | \ im-ˈbaŋk-mənt How to pronounce embankment (audio) \

Definition of embankment

1 : a raised structure (as of earth or gravel) used especially to hold back water or to carry a roadway
2 : the action of embanking

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Synonyms for embankment


dam, dike, head, levee

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Examples of embankment in a Sentence

the embankment is steep, so be careful walking along the ridge

Recent Examples on the Web

Crews at the north and south ends of the tunnel also began working to remove embankments, where entrance and exit ramps soon will be installed. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle officials plead for help, patience as viaduct traffic problems loom," 13 Jan. 2019 Over the next 2,500 to 4,000 years, the settlements themselves fell into ruin, and eventually farmers plowed the embankments flat and filled in the ditches with topsoil. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 San Diego motorcycle officer was hurt Friday morning after he was struck by a vehicle and sent down an embankment of a South County freeway interchange. Teri Figueroa, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego motorcycle officer hit, goes down embankment," 4 May 2018 Police believe the family vehicle was the same one that witnesses reported seeing going down a steep embankment of the Eel River off of Highway 101 in heavy rain on April 6. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Bodies of Missing Family Recovered After Car Plunged into River Near Other California Crash Site," 18 Apr. 2018 Police said one of the cars ended up knocking a hole in a wall of Victoria Restaurant before coming to rest on the embankment of a nearby car wash. Deborah Kadin, chicagotribune.com, "Northlake chain-reaction crash injures two people, damages nine vehicles, knocks hole in wall of restaurant," 19 Mar. 2018 Then, workers had to use excavators and dump trucks to compact the debris below the new highway into an embankment. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "As Big Sur Roadway Reopens, Businesses Eagerly Await Surge in Visitors," 18 July 2018 The motorcycle went off the north side of the road, over an embankment and hit an electric fence, according to the sheriff's office. Jennifer Baker, Cincinnati.com, "Motorcyclist killed, teen airlifted to hospital from crash," 9 July 2018 Mud and uprooted trees slammed his vehicle, tossing it across the highway, over a 10-foot embankment and into the raging Catawba River. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Immense rains are causing more flash flooding, and experts say it’s getting worse," 24 June 2018

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

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for embankment

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for embankment

The first known use of embankment was in 1786

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English Language Learners Definition of embankment

: a raised bank or wall that is built to carry a roadway or hold back water


em·​bank·​ment | \ in-ˈbaŋk-mənt How to pronounce embankment (audio) \

Kids Definition of embankment

: a raised bank or wall to carry a roadway or hold back water

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More from Merriam-Webster on embankment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for embankment

Spanish Central: Translation of embankment

Nglish: Translation of embankment for Spanish Speakers

Comments on embankment

What made you want to look up embankment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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