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

barranca (also barranco), bluff, cliff, crag, escarpment, precipice, scar, scarp

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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


the palisades that line the west bank of the Hudson River for about 15 miles

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Pauger's plans called for the city to be fortified with palisades on all sides. Mike Scott,, "Meet the man who put the French Quarter on the map (literally)," 14 Dec. 2017 The palisade fabric is similarly unconvincing, Bosak says, because such rock crystal formations could form from non-biological causes, such as after an asteroid impact. Ben Panko, Smithsonian, "Fossils From Ancient Hot Springs Suggest Life May Have Evolved on Land," 11 May 2017 The first castles were merely earthen heaps surrounded by a wooden palisade wall. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "How to Storm a Castle," 10 Aug. 2017 In fact, hardly anything was built until the 1729 Natchez Indian uprising, after which authorities erected a palisade and dug a shallow moat. Richard Campanella,, "New Orleans 'Fort-prints': Odd angled properties are relics of city's fortified past," 10 May 2017 So, Jones says at this point, he is forced to conclude that the palisades have completely deteriorated beyond recovery. Jennifer Coe, Courant Community, "Archaeological Discoveries Discussed," 18 May 2017 This vertical, rippling, palisade texture forms when long filaments from microbial mats that exist at the outflows of hot springs get entombed in silica sediment that is common in the water. Fox News, "Scientists may have discovered the oldest evidence of life on land," 11 May 2017

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

The first known use of palisade was in 1588

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on palisade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with palisade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for palisade

Spanish Central: Translation of palisade

Nglish: Translation of palisade for Spanish Speakers

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