What does bulwark mean?

Definitions for bulwark
ˈbʊl wərk, -wɔrk, ˈbʌl-bul·wark

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word bulwark.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. rampart, bulwark, wallnoun

    an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes

    "they stormed the ramparts of the city"; "they blew the trumpet and the walls came tumbling down"

  2. bulwarknoun

    a fencelike structure around a deck (usually plural)

  3. breakwater, groin, groyne, mole, bulwark, seawall, jettyverb

    a protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away

  4. bulwarkverb

    defend with a bulwark


  1. bulwarknoun

    A defensive wall or rampart.

  2. bulwarknoun

    A defense or safeguard.

  3. bulwarknoun

    A breakwater.

  4. bulwarknoun

    The planking or plating along the sides of a nautical vessel above her gunwale that reduces the likelihood of seas washing over the gunwales and people being washed overboard.

  5. bulwarkverb

    To fortify something with a wall or rampart.

  6. bulwarkverb

    To provide protection of defense for something.

  7. Etymology: cognate with German Bollwerk, Danish bolværk, Dutch bolwerk. The first part is akin to bole. Cognates include boulevard (from French boulevard, from Dutch), Spanish baluarte and Italian baluardo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BULWARKnoun

    Etymology: bolwercke, Dutch; probably only from its strength and largeness.

    But him the squire made quickly to retreat,
    Encountering fierce with single sword in hand,
    And ’twixt him and his lord did like a bulwark stand. Edmund Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. i. cant. viii. stanz. 12.

    Who oft repair
    Their earthen bulwarks ’gainst the ocean flood. Edward Fairfax, b. i.

    Taking away needless bulwarks, divers were demolished upon the sea coasts. John Hayward.

    We have bulwarks round us;
    Within our walls are troops enur’d to toil. Joseph Addison, Cato.

    Our naval strength is a general bulwark to the British nation. Joseph Addison, Freeholder, №. 42.

    Some making the wars their bulwark, that have before gored the gentle bosom of peace with pillage and robbery. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Bulwarkverb

    To fortify; to strengthen with bulwarks.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    And yet no bulwark’d town, or distant coast,
    Preserves the beauteous youth from being seen. Addison.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Bulwarknoun

    a rampart; a fortification; a bastion or outwork

  2. Bulwarknoun

    that which secures against an enemy, or defends from attack; any means of defense or protection

  3. Bulwarknoun

    the sides of a ship above the upper deck

  4. Bulwarkverb

    to fortify with, or as with, a rampart or wall; to secure by fortification; to protect


  1. Bulwark

    Bulwark is a fictional mutant character in the Marvel Comics Universe who first appeared as an antagonist of Generation X in Generation X #11.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Bulwark

    bool′wark, n. a fortification or rampart: a breakwater or sea-wall: any means of defence or security.—v.t. to defend. [Cf. Ger. bollwerk.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. bulwark

    The planking or wood-work round a vessel above her deck, and fastened externally to the stanchions and timber-heads. In this form it is a synonym of berthing. Also, the old name for a bastion.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. bulwark

    In fortification, a rampart or bastion; an outwork for defense; that which secures against an enemy; a shelter or means of protection.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce bulwark?

How to say bulwark in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of bulwark in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of bulwark in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of bulwark in a Sentence

  1. Emma Goldman:

    The strongest bulwark of authority is uniformity the least divergence from it is the greatest crime.

  2. Stephen Baker:

    Those people who say they have no voice, the union is the bulwark.

  3. James Madison:

    The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.

  4. Cherian George:

    Lee was an unshakeable bulwark against majoritarian tendencies that could have easily overwhelmed Singapore, lee went to the extent of amending the republic's Constitution to stop any party from sweeping into power without minority support.

  5. Kim Hong-kyun:

    Bolton may not be loved by everyone but surely was a bulwark against a half-baked nuclear deal with North Korea, knowing very well about its negotiating tactics, now that he's gone, just at a time when the two countries are talking about restarting working-level talks, North Korea would try to make various attempts and use tricks to turn things to their advantage, seeing this as a chance to score points without defense from the other side.

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Translations for bulwark

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • حصنArabic
  • защита, редут, опора, бастион, фалшборд, вълноломBulgarian
  • vlnolam, záštita, val, hrazeníCzech
  • bolværkDanish
  • Wellenbrecher, Mole, BollwerkGerman
  • προπύργιοGreek
  • remparoEsperanto
  • amurada, baluarteSpanish
  • بارو, سنگرPersian
  • aallonmurtaja, suojaus, suojamuuri, lisälaita, suojavalliFinnish
  • rempart, bastingage, brise-lames, jetéeFrench
  • doirlinn-fasgaidh, bàbhan, mùrScottish Gaelic
  • बांधHindi
  • védelem, bástya, hullámtörőHungarian
  • պաշտպանություն, հողապատնեշ, պատվար, բաստիոն, ծովապատնեշArmenian
  • remparoIdo
  • bolverk, bolvirkiIcelandic
  • impavesata, baluardoItalian
  • 防波堤Japanese
  • ការការពារ, កំពែង, ជញ្ជាំងការពារឆ្នេរសមុទ្រKhmer
  • ಬುರುಜುKannada
  • سه‌نگه‌رKurdish
  • propugnaculumLatin
  • papatū, pākaiMāori
  • насипMacedonian
  • bolwerk, golfbreker, schans, verschansingDutch
  • bolverkNorwegian
  • falochronPolish
  • baluarte, amurada, quebra-marPortuguese
  • мол, вал, волнорез, фальшборт, бастион, редут, насыпь, волнолом, оплот, защита, опораRussian
  • lukobran, bastion, razma, branik, grudobranSerbo-Croatian
  • branikSlovene
  • bålverkSwedish
  • хвилерізUkrainian
  • בולוואַרקYiddish

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    be contingent upon (something that is elided)
    • A. fudge
    • B. depend
    • C. emerge
    • D. inspire

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