re·​doubt | \ ri-ˈdau̇t How to pronounce redoubt (audio) \

Definition of redoubt

1a : a small usually temporary enclosed defensive work
b : a defended position : protective barrier
2 : a secure retreat : stronghold

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Did You Know?

Based on its spelling, you might think that "redoubt" shares its origin with words such as "doubt" and "redoubtable," both of which derive from a Latin verb, dubitare. But that's not the case. "Redoubt" actually derives via French and Italian from a different Latin verb - reducere, meaning "to lead back," the same root that gives us "reduce." How that "b" ended up in "redoubt" is a lingering question, but some etymologists have posited that the word might have been conflated with another "redoubt" - a now-archaic transitive verb meaning "to regard with awe, dismay, or dread." Unlike its homographic twin, that "redoubt" does derive from the same root as "doubt" and "redoubtable."

Examples of redoubt in a Sentence

The refugees gathered in a hilly redoubt several miles outside the city. a massive stone redoubt at the entrance of the bay guarded the city
Recent Examples on the Web The House has remained a redoubt of support from Trump. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Independence Day? House GOP shows some distance from Trump," 5 Feb. 2021 Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping has affirmed his priority of gaining control over Taiwan, the last redoubt of the Nationalist government overthrown by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "‘As scary as possible’: Taiwan wants to work with Quad to contain China’s military," 13 Jan. 2021 China broke its treaty with the United Kingdom over Hong Kong this year and destroyed the system of common-law liberty that existed in that island redoubt. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "China Is Getting Away with It," 1 Jan. 2021 After Pearl, the Japanese continued to surprise elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific theater — sometimes by surprise tactics and methods, as in their previously unimaginable landward-side invasion of the British redoubt at Singapore. John Hillen, National Review, "How to Remember Pearl Harbor Day," 7 Dec. 2020 So is the broader question of whether the street can shake off its image as a fusty redoubt of old-school haberdashery. David Segal, New York Times, "To Survive the Pandemic, Savile Row Cuts a Bespoke Strategy," 15 Nov. 2020 Together, Rogers, Acosta, Lowe and three others who soon joined them created an American redoubt in a stand of three concrete bunk beds. Doug Bock Clark, New York Times, "Arrested, Tortured, Imprisoned: The U.S. Contractors Abandoned in Kuwait," 28 Oct. 2020 The shifting balance of power in the region has stoked misgivings about whether China might attack Taiwan, the island redoubt of the government overthrown during the 1949 Chinese Communist Revolution. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Chinese bombers get missile upgrade to rival 'attack capability' of Russia and US," 19 Oct. 2020 On September 12th Barry Croft, while meeting several other men in a rural redoubt in Michigan, referred to his set as the men tested an improvised explosive device. The Economist, "Making the world glow The plot against Gretchen Whitmer," 17 Oct. 2020

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

circa 1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for redoubt

French redoute, from Italian ridotto, from Medieval Latin reductus secret place, from Latin, withdrawn, from past participle of reducere to lead back — more at reduce

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The first known use of redoubt was circa 1608

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Redoubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for redoubt



English Language Learners Definition of redoubt

: a small building or area that gives protection to soldiers under attack
: a safe or protected place

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