em·​bank·​ment im-ˈbaŋk-mənt How to pronounce embankment (audio)
: a raised structure (as of earth or gravel) used especially to hold back water or to carry a roadway
: the action of embanking

Example Sentences

the embankment is steep, so be careful walking along the ridge
Recent Examples on the Web Crews found a vehicle resting on its roof with one person inside at the bottom of an embankment off the ramp from Route 30 to Route 128 South, the fire department said. Nick Stoico, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Apr. 2023 Caltrans is monitoring a section of State Route 1 near Tomales Bay, where a storm in January washed out the embankment beneath the highway – as though someone had scraped out the side of a cake, but left the frosting rigid on top. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Mar. 2023 With overnight temperatures dropping to the 30s, he was stuck at the bottom of a steep embankment below the road, which follows the creek’s path. oregonlive, 10 Dec. 2022 The car then went down an embankment and hit a tree, causing the car to catch on fire, state police said. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 1 Dec. 2022 Her roommates ran out of the way in time, but Beatty said at the news conference her daughter flew 15 feet in the air, landed on a grassy embankment and slid several feet from the impact. Dallas News, 22 Nov. 2022 Russian forces had stalled there, and waves of residents were now arriving—abandoning their vehicles at the edge of the caved-in bridge, clambering down a high embankment, and crossing the icy currents on a treacherous walkway composed of pallets and scrap lumber. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 With Russian and Ukrainian forces squared off on opposite banks, fighters have replaced fishermen, surveillance drones circle overhead and mines line the marshy embankments. Nicole Tung Marc Santora, New York Times, 5 May 2023 The driver and a passenger were headed south on the freeway, south of Division Street, about 9 a.m. when the driver lost control of the pickup, which crashed down an embankment and smashed into a light pole. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'embankment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of embankment was in 1786

Dictionary Entries Near embankment

Cite this Entry

“Embankment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embankment. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


em·​bank·​ment im-ˈbaŋk-mənt How to pronounce embankment (audio)
: a raised bank or wall to carry a roadway, prevent floods, or hold back water

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