re·​doubt ri-ˈdau̇t How to pronounce redoubt (audio)
: a small usually temporary enclosed defensive work
: a defended position : protective barrier
: a secure retreat : stronghold

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 the Latin verb dubitare, meaning "to be in doubt." But that's not the case. Redoubt actually derives via the French redoute and the Italian ridotto 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 On an island of magnificent beauty, where a wildfire as fierce as a blowtorch has left hundreds dead or missing in a redoubt of 19th-century Hawaiian kings, many local residents are crying with friends one moment, working to please vacationers the next. Damien Cave Michelle Mishina Kunz, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2023 Though there have only been seven wild polio cases recorded this year — in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the last redoubts of the wild viruses — there does not appear to be enough time left in 2023 to stop the still ongoing spread, the report concluded. Helen Branswell, STAT, 15 Sep. 2023 While Mali and Burkina Faso slipped into Moscow’s orbit under their juntas, Niger remained something of a pro-Western redoubt in the Sahel, the semiarid African region below the Sahara Desert that is increasingly shaped by state failure and metastasizing insurgencies. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2023 The change is part of a pattern that has remade the West, turning the onetime Republican redoubt into a deep well of Democratic support, columnist Mark Z. Barabak writes in a new series exploring how Western states have reset the political competition nationwide. Laura Blasey, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2023 Such living arrangements represent a hermetic ideal, escapist redoubts for those who reject rules and norms decided by a democratic collective. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 19 June 2023 The dinner plate and stomach microbiome are treated as the last redoubt of resistance to anything that would impinge on consumer self-determination. Jan Dutkiewicz, The New Republic, 17 Apr. 2023 In 2017, guided by a U.S. Predator drone, Águila’s special forces parachuted into a mountain redoubt to capture a suspect wanted in the killing of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Nick Miroff, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2022 In the port city of Mariupol, which Russian forces have battered with missiles almost daily for several weeks, about 100 civilians were being evacuated Sunday from a sprawling steel plant that is a final redoubt of Ukrainian defenders and hundreds of noncombatants. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of redoubt was circa 1608


Dictionary Entries Near redoubt

Cite this Entry

“Redoubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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