par·​a·​pet | \ˈper-ə-pət, -ˌpet, ˈpa-rə-\

Definition of parapet 

1 : a wall, rampart, or elevation of earth or stone to protect soldiers The invaders fired arrows over the castle's parapet.

2 : 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.

Illustration of parapet

Illustration of parapet

P parapet 1

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Other Words from parapet

parapeted \ˈper-​ə-​ˌpe-​təd, ˈpa-​rə-​ \ adjective

Examples of parapet in a Sentence

The invaders fired arrows over the castle's parapet.

Recent Examples on the Web

An early draft of the poem notes how the parapets of the trenches at Cuinchy were built up with corpses. David Yezzi, WSJ, "‘Robert Graves’ Review: A Poet of Love and War," 23 Nov. 2018 As proposed, the northeast corner of the development would include an 80-foot-tall parapet. Steve Schering,, "Developer says 5-story building would 'rejuvenate, enrich' Lake and Lathrop area; River Forest officials, residents have questions," 29 June 2018 Image Corporate America has largely avoided sticking its head over the parapet in the trade war. Peter Eavis, New York Times, "Harley-Davidson Shows Why Corporations Cannot Keep Silent in Trade Wars," 25 June 2018 With a combination of grit, agility and muscle, the man hauled himself hand over hand from one balcony to another, springing from one parapet to grasp the next one up. New York Times, "Paris ‘Spider-Man’ Saves Young Boy. Cue Debate on Migrants.," 28 May 2018 For 23 years, London Grill co-owner and Bastille Day co-creator Terry Berch McNally has appeared in frock and wig, swigging pink champagne on the prison parapet in the event’s historically irreverent portrayal of Marie Antoinette. Lauren Mccutcheon,, "Eastern State Penitentiary's Marie Antoinette will toss Tastykakes Saturday for final Bastille Day," 11 July 2018 Near the back, along the C wall close to the parapet, was a glass cubicle fifteen feet wide and fifteen feet deep, reinforced with wire mesh, that capped a double elevator shaft. Sean Flynn, Esquire, "The Perfect Fire," 9 Mar. 2017 The intervention by General Sir Nick Carter was unprecedented: normally military chiefs keep their heads well below the political parapet. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "SH-99 construction drawing near in Liberty County," 26 June 2018 Behind them, floating above trucks and fruit stalls and huge vats of frying falafel, the golden cupola of the Dome of the Rock peeks over the fortress-like parapet of the Damascus Gate. Noga Tarnopolsky,, "Step by step, bridging the divide between Arab and Jew in Jerusalem," 14 June 2018

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

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for parapet

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

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Statistics for parapet

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for parapet

The first known use of parapet was in 1590

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More Definitions for parapet



English Language Learners Definition of parapet

: a low wall at the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge


par·​a·​pet | \ˈper-ə-pət, -ˌpet\

Kids Definition of parapet

1 : a low wall or fence at the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge

2 : a wall of earth or stone to protect soldiers

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More from Merriam-Webster on parapet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with parapet

Spanish Central: Translation of parapet

Nglish: Translation of parapet for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about parapet

Comments on parapet

What made you want to look up parapet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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