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

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 Ukrainian defenders continue to hold a last redoubt, a sprawling steelworks plant, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to blockade. Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2022 The images show how concentrated attacks have greatly damaged a central facility at the Azovstal steelworks, the last redoubt of Ukrainian fighters in the key battleground city. Inna Varenytsia And David Keyton, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Apr. 2022 The images show how concentrated attacks have greatly damaged a central facility at the Azovstal steelworks, the last redoubt of Ukrainian fighters in the key battleground city. Inna Varenytsia And David Keyton, Chicago Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Putin ordered a tight blockade of the steel plant, the Ukrainians’ final redoubt, which is a sprawling collection of above- and below-ground structures. Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2022 As every English schoolchild knows, Alfred, King of Wessex, resists the Danes, gets whipped, regroups from his marshy redoubt, and unites Wessex to beat the Vikings at the Battle of Edington in 878. Joshua Levine, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Mar. 2022 Nearly 10 months after the dramatic events at the Capitol, Ginni Thomas ventured out onto a small balcony inside the Heritage Foundation, the conservative redoubt that stands on Massachusetts Avenue a few blocks from the Capitol. New York Times, 22 Feb. 2022 The report has forced the German Church to ponder its recent past, a period shaped by Ratzinger’s view of Catholic doctrine as inviolable and the Church as the last redoubt of order and stability in a rapidly changing world. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2022 But as Nevada grew from an overwhelmingly rural, white redoubt of ranches and mines to a polyglot gambling mecca in which 70 percent of voters live in the Las Vegas area, Mr. Reid adapted as a matter of necessity. Jonathan Martin,, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Redoubt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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