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 For the pièce de résistance John would wedge a broom behind the seat cushions, with the wooden handle extending heavenward from the prow of our beige-upholstered redoubt. Mike Kerrigan, WSJ, "A Young Imagination Beats Videogames," 24 June 2019 Built in 1906 to fill a gap in Manhattan’s defense network, the redoubt at Lexington Avenue and East 25th Street was designed as a Beaux-Arts bastion in an era when other armories were still being modeled on medieval fortresses. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "5 New York Buildings That Changed American History," 31 Oct. 2019 These were the redoubts of the despised haute bourgeoisie, who lounged in ease while the rest of France languished, and riot was the answer to that inequity. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "A Play with No End," 22 July 2019 Regardless of who leads it, IS is keen to rebuild, which might explain why Mr Baghdadi died in Idlib, far from his former redoubt in north-east Syria and western Iraq. The Economist, "Islamic State after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," 2 Nov. 2019 The Syrian military earlier this month broke a cease-fire over Idlib to wage an offensive against a one-time al-Qaeda affiliate in the last major rebel redoubt. Time, "Russia Is Trying to Sell Turkey Its Own Stealthy New Fighter After U.S. Revoked Access to F-35," 27 Aug. 2019 When Pope John Paul II visited Ireland and his native Poland in 1979, these two redoubts of Catholic faith seemed to be on a similar path. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "The Culture War Dividing Europe," 29 Mar. 2019 The troops split into two groups, each manning an outpost overlooking Islamic State redoubts. Habib Khan Totakhil, WSJ, "U.S., Afghan Forces Launch Major Offensive Against Islamic State," 8 June 2018 That has come even as U.S. and Afghan forces, aided by units led by such local authorities as Mr. Padshah, drive the group’s fighters out of their former redoubts in the districts of Achin and Deh Bela. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens of Afghans Protesting Local Official," 12 Sep. 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.

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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

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Redoubt.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More Definitions for redoubt


How to pronounce redoubt (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for redoubt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to express in a more acceptable way

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