pal·​i·​sade | \ ˌpa-lə-ˈsād How to pronounce palisade (audio) \

Definition of palisade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a fence of stakes especially for defense
b : a long strong stake pointed at the top and set close with others as a defense
2 : a line of bold cliffs


palisaded; palisading

Definition of palisade (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fortify with palisades

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Synonyms for palisade

Synonyms: Noun

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Palisade derives via French from the Latin noun palus, meaning "stake." The word originally applied to one of a series of stakes set in a row to form an enclosure or fortification. "The Palisades" is also the name given to the line of traprock cliffs that stretches for about 15 miles along the western bank of the Hudson River in southeastern New York and northern New Jersey. Purportedly, these cliffs got their name from the resemblance of the tall rocks to rows of stakes or trees, although who exactly came up with the name is a matter of dispute. Before long "palisade" came to refer to any similar formation of tall cliffs.

Examples of palisade in a Sentence

Noun the palisades that line the west bank of the Hudson River for about 15 miles
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The presence of the palisade, which brings up the ghosts of violent conflict, adds to the story of this hard life. Susan Dunne,, "Recently discovered trove of artifacts ‘changing the narrative of Connecticut history’," 16 Nov. 2020 Digging at the foot of Burial Hill in 2019, a University of Massachusetts team discovered a line of dark soil that is almost certainly the remains of the colony’s original palisade—the first actual remnant of Plimoth ever found. Scott Eisen, National Geographic, "400 years on, the Pilgrims get a reality check," 11 Nov. 2020 The 25-foot palisade of water pummeled her boat, spinning it it upside down. Gregory Thomas,, "‘I wake up, I row’: Inside Lia Ditton’s grueling bid to row to Hawaii," 15 Aug. 2020 Researchers also identified the remains of a square or quadrangular structure at the site, believed to be part of a palisade designed to force the tribes through two of the fords over the Tagus. Fox News, "Ancient battlefield, site of Hannibal's first major victory, discovered in Spain, researchers say," 23 Apr. 2020 Perched on a rocky palisade high above the Danube, the castle is the area’s major tourist attraction. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Brewing's founder is all but forgotten in his hometown, but one German brewery hasn't given up on 'Old Fred'," 27 Nov. 2019 Over the course of the road trip Wu documented a variety of Bolivian landscapes ranging from sandy deserts to rocky palisades, but the Salar de Uyuni emerged as the highlight. Wired, "Drawing With Drones Over the Salt Flats of Bolivia," 16 Nov. 2019 The first castles were merely earthen heaps surrounded by a wooden palisade wall. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 11 Apr. 2019 The compound was hidden behind a tall palisade of cactus and purple bougainvillea. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "The Hunt for Mexico’s Heirloom Beans," 17 Apr. 2018

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


1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1632, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for palisade


French palissade, ultimately from Latin palus stake — more at pole

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Time Traveler for palisade

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The first known use of palisade was in 1588

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Cite this Entry

“Palisade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for palisade



English Language Learners Definition of palisade

: a high fence made of pointed stakes that was used in the past to protect a building or area
US : a line of steep cliffs especially along a river or ocean


pal·​i·​sade | \ ˌpa-lə-ˈsād How to pronounce palisade (audio) \

Kids Definition of palisade

1 : a fence made of poles to protect against attack
2 : a line of steep cliffs

More from Merriam-Webster on palisade

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Nglish: Translation of palisade for Spanish Speakers

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