par·​a·​pet ˈper-ə-pət How to pronounce parapet (audio)
: a wall, rampart, or elevation of earth or stone to protect soldiers
The invaders fired arrows over the castle's parapet.
: a low wall or railing to protect the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge

called also parapet wall

The visitor peered over the parapet with binoculars.
parapeted adjective

Illustration of parapet

Illustration of parapet
  • P parapet 1

Examples of parapet in a Sentence

The invaders fired arrows over the castle's parapet.
Recent Examples on the Web For decades, a law in Ventura mandated that brick buildings be retrofitted above the roof line — strengthening only the parapet, a low wall on the roof — a minimal requirement that does not fix the vulnerability that puts the rest of the structure at risk of collapse. Rong-Gong Lin Ii, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 The Department of Buildings found cracks running from the foundation to the parapet and a three-inch gap between it and 12 Fifth, McMullan’s building. Curbed, 8 Sep. 2023 After Prigozhin, who will stick their head above the parapet in Putin's Russia? Those figures are likely to underestimate the total spent on Russia’s war effort. Clare Sebastian, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023 She was treated as a pariah for putting her head above the parapet. Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2023 The project is part of the State Highway Administration’s bridge system preservation program including rehabilitation of the bridge deck, replacement of the parapets and installation of new guardrail on both roadway approaches to the bridge, according to a SHA news release. Katia Parks, Baltimore Sun, 19 June 2023 One question posed in advance of Monday’s meeting asked if machinery used recently on the bridge and deck for parapet work could have contributed to further and more drastic deterioration and weakening of the dam and spillway, as was uncovered around July 18. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 10 Aug. 2021 Nevertheless, by 1990, Baer had persuaded Seid to poke his head above the anonymous parapet. Nina Burleigh, The New Republic, 16 May 2023 Outside, a sail-like awning drapes an appropriately green hue of shade over the picnic tables; inside, a barrier now rings the bar, preventing bar service, though a translucent parapet running along the top provides open sight lines to the TVs and beer taps. Ian McNulty,, 9 Sep. 2020 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Middle French & Italian; Middle French parapete, parapet, borrowed from Italian parapetto, from para "(it) shields, protects" (3rd singular present of parare "to prepare, adorn, avert, shield") + petto "breast, chest," going back to Latin pector-, pectus — more at parry, pectoral entry 2

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of parapet was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near parapet

Cite this Entry

“Parapet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


par·​a·​pet ˈpar-ə-pət How to pronounce parapet (audio)
: a wall of earth or stone to protect soldiers
: a low wall or railing at the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge

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