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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for embankment


dam, dike, head, levee

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of embankment in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The vehicle went down an embankment and struck a tree, the release said. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "22-year-old New Glarus woman dies in car crash," 24 June 2018 Crews had trouble accessing the fire on the embankment, so the California Highway Patrol escorted a fire engine down Highway 50, Wade said. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Homeless encampment causes fire, traffic jam on Highway 50," 30 May 2018 Elena Rodriguez was shot in 2012 on a street just south of the border in Nogales when Swartz fired 16 shots through a 20-foot fence on an embankment above Calle Internacional, a Nogales street lined with homes and small businesses. Washington Post, "Retrial for U.S. agent over border slaying," 12 May 2018 Photos posted by police on Facebook show the plane wrecked along a bridge embankment just above stream. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Small plane makes crash landing on busy Colorado road," 17 Apr. 2018 Prosecutors say Swartz opened fire at about 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2012, through the metal poles of a 20-foot fence along an embankment above Mexico’s Calle Internacional, a street lined with homes and small businesses. BostonGlobe.com, "US agent on trial in cross-border killing of Mexican teen," 20 Mar. 2018 Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates on Thursday said Daniels was found lying on a grass embankment near the roadway in the 5200 block of Avenue O. He had been stabbed in the leg, and a major artery was hit. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "Birmingham homicide victim identified; family sought," 22 Feb. 2018 Authorities believe his vehicle became airborne after hitting an embankment, the station reported. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Photos show minivan embedded in side of house after crash," 7 July 2018 The fuel tank slammed into the embankment, causing a rupture in the tank, the CHP said. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Tanker overturns on highway, spilling 700 gallons of jet fuel near American River," 4 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.

See More

First Known Use of embankment

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about embankment

Share embankment

Dictionary Entries near embankment








Statistics for embankment

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embankment

The first known use of embankment was in 1786

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for embankment



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

Keep scrolling for more

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 magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!