re·doubt | \ri-ˈdau̇t \

Definition of redoubt 

1a : a small usually temporary enclosed defensive work

b : a defended position : protective barrier

2 : a secure retreat : stronghold

Keep scrolling for more

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

From 1990 until 1999 artist Scott Swoveland's colorful murals outside Montrose gay bar Mary's at 1022 Westheimer showed off the neighborhood's vibrant reputation as an LGBT redoubt. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Memories of murals outside departed Montrose gay bar Mary's still live on," 22 June 2018 The Supreme Court has barred public-employee contracts requiring workers to pay union dues, dealing a severe blow to perhaps the strongest remaining redoubt of the American labor movement. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Deals Blow to Public-Sector Unions," 27 June 2018 Mnangagwa's main challenger is 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa from the MDC, who has energized the party, drawing huge crowds at rallies in some of the ruling ZABU-PF party's rural redoubts. Macdonald Dzirutwe, The Christian Science Monitor, "Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa promises fair and open general election," 30 May 2018 French soldiers were to take one redoubt, Americans led by Lt. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Our history: Revolutionary War patriots among city settlers," 3 July 2018 Like assaults on other opposition redoubts in the past, the heavy air and artillery strikes have already uprooted tens of thousands of people in recent days according to the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator’s office. Nabih Bulos,, "King Abdullah II of Jordan faces economic woes and other issues as he promotes 'peace-affirming Islam'," 27 June 2018 All this is unfolding as the Syrian military, backed by Russia, is intensifying its assault on Idlib, the last remaining redoubt of rebels opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Eric Schmitt, New York Times, "Turkey’s President Assails U.S.-Trained Kurdish Border Force," 15 Jan. 2018 Bipartisanship has been declining in the US for decades, but its last redoubt was the kind of bipartisanship Lott and Breaux represented, i.e., the purely transactional, corporate-friendly kind. David Roberts, Vox, "Big oil and Bush-era lobbyists are teaming up to support a carbon tax," 22 June 2018 Then there is Orange County, a stubborn redoubt of conservatism that keeps defying prognostications that 80 years of Republican dominance will come to an end. Jeremy W. Peters, New York Times, "Orange County Fights Turning Blue. And the Resistance Is Formidable.," 8 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about redoubt

Listen to Our Podcast about redoubt

Statistics for redoubt

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for redoubt

The first known use of redoubt was circa 1608

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on redoubt

See words that rhyme with redoubt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for redoubt

Comments on redoubt

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


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!