em·​bank·​ment | \ im-ˈbaŋk-mənt \

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

On Thursday, the body was found at the foot of a highway embankment near an onramp in Dayton, about 8 miles north of the wedding site, Oregon's FOX 12 reported. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Body believed to be that of missing Oregon woman, authorities say," 24 Aug. 2018 As the children escaped from the Mazda, Vasquez said the vehicle started rocking toward the edge of the embankment. John Tufts, USA TODAY, "‘Heroes’ rush to save mom and children as car dangles from highway embankment," 1 June 2018 The seventh graders at Greenwich Junior-Senior High School were digging a fort in the backside of a 10-foot-high embankment when public works crews began dumping or pushing the snow, unaware of the boys underneath. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "A 13-Year-Old Boy Was Tragically Killed While Playing in Snow Bank," 14 Dec. 2016 In the video, one of the officers can be seen quickly backing away while opening fire, then tumbling down an embankment. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Man pulls gun on Colorado deputies during traffic stop, dramatic body camera video shows," 18 Sep. 2018 Inside an earthen embankment, the Aubrey Holes formed a wide circle around a central open space. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "People buried at Stonehenge may have come from as far away as Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 After crossing the Vantage Bridge over the Columbia River on March 15, 2011, the men unloaded the suitcase off Highway 26, tossing it down a steep embankment into a fast-running irrigation canal. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Police: Woman who fled to Japan after 2011 homicide is booked into the King County Jail," 4 Dec. 2018 The girl was ejected from the vehicle her father was driving after the car lost control, flipped and went down an embankment into a drainage ditch on Eastview Drive, said Madison County Coroner Bobby Berryhill. Anna Beahm, AL.com, "13-year-old killed, 2 hospitalized after crash in Madison," 15 Feb. 2018 In Ireland, for example, Bronze Age people often dug circular ditches around their fortified settlements, with high embankments on the inner side. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 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

24 Jan 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 \

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

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irregularly rounded

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