Association of British Scrabble Players

Society > Structures > Fortifications

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

abatis abattis a means of defense formed by felled trees, the ends of whose branches are sharpened and directed outwards, or against the enemy.
abri a bomb shelter.
agger an artificial mound or elevation for military use.
alcazar a fortress; also, a royal palace. [Arabic al-kasr, the castle].
atalaya a watchtower.
barbette an earthen terrace inside the parapet of a rampart.
barricade a temporary defensive barrier; (verb) to block, to enclose with a barricade.
barricado a barricade > BARRICADOS; (verb) to barricade > BARRICADOES.
bastile bastille a tower or an elevated work, used for the defense, or in the siege, of a fortified place. The Bastille was the French prison-cum-fortress stormed by the mob in the French Revolution.
bastle a fortified house with vaulted ground floor. Cf. BASTILLE.
bawn in Ireland, the fortification round a house, an enclosure for cattle. [Ir. babhun, enclosure].
blindage a cover or protection for an advanced trench or approach, formed of FASCINES and earth supported by a framework.
blockhouse a wooden or concrete fortification with ports or loopholes for defensive fire, observation, etc.
boma in Africa, a thorn enclosure.
boyau a communication trench > BOYAUX. [Fr. boyau, bowel].
brattice brattish brettice bretasche bretesse a wooden tower used in mediaeval siege operations. The first three variants can also be sued as verbs: to provide with a brattice.
brisure a part of a parapet breaking from the general direction.
broch brogh brough a dry-built circular tower of the late Iron Age. BROCH can also be used as a verb: to broach.
bulwark a fortification or rampart; (verb) to provide with bulwarks; to serve as a bulwark to.
burg a fortified town.
caponier caponiere a work made across or in the ditch, to protect it from the enemy, or to serve as a covered passageway.
casbah kasbah a castle or fortress in a North African town.
casemate a bombproof chamber or armored compartment.
casemated furnished with, protected by, or built like, a CASEMATE.
castellum a small Roman fort, a mile-castle > CASTELLA or CASTELLUMS.
castle a fortified house or fortress; (verb) to change king and rook places at chess.
circumvallate to surround with a rampart or fortification.
citadel a fortress in or near a city.
contravallation a fortification built around besieged place.
counterscarp a narrow earth band on the outer wall of a defensive ditch.
coupure a passage cut through a glacis to facilitate sallies by the besieged.
crannog crannoge one of the stockaded islands in Scotland and Ireland which in ancient times were numerous in the lakes of both countries. [Gaelic crann, a tree].
cremaillere a zigzag line of fortification.
cunette an fortifications, a trench sunk along the middle of a dry ditch or moat, serving as a drain, a CUVETTE.
cursal relating to a CURSUS, an elongated prehistoric earthwork.
cursus an elongated prehistoric earthwork. Pl. CURSI.
defenced defensed fortified.
defilade to plan a fortification so as to protect it or those in it from raking crossfire.
drawbridge a bridge or section of a bridge hinged at one end for drawing up and lowering to prevent or permit passage across it or to open or close a channel spanned by it.
earthwork a fortification of earth; an embankment.
eboulement the falling in of the wall of a fortification; a landslip.
embank to protect by a bank of earth or stone.
escalade to scale the walls of a fortress by ladders. Also ESCALADO.
escalader one who escalades, scales fortress walls by means of ladders.
escalado the scaling of walls of a fortress by ladders. Pl. ESCALADOES. Also ESCALADE.
estacade a dike of stakes in a river against an enemy.
fascine a bundle of brushwood used to fill ditches.
fort a small fortress; (verb) to fortify.
fortifier something that fortifies.
fortify to add strength to; to strengthen.
fortilage fortress, stronghold.
fortlet a little fort.
fortress to strengthen with a fortress.
foss fosse a ditch or moat.
fossed having a FOSS, a ditch or moat.
fraise a kind of palisade; (verb) to fence with such a palisade.
gabion a wicker or wire basket of earth or rock.
gabionade gabionnade a traverse made with gabions between guns or on their flanks, protecting them from enfilading fire.
gabionage the part of a fortification built of GABIONS.
gabioned furnished with GABIONS, wicker or wire baskets of earth or rock.
gazon gazoon one of the pieces of sod used to line or cover parapets and the faces of earthworks.
glacis a gentle slope in fortification.
gunhouse a protective shelter for a gun and gunner.
herisson a pivoted beam with iron spikes, protecting wall, passage, etc. [Fr. herisson, hedghog].
hillfort a fort built on a hill.
impregnable that cannot be taken by attack. [Nothing to do with 'pregnant', but derives from the verb 'prendre', to take, capture, ultimately from L. 'prehendere', to seize].
kasbah see CASBAH.
keep the innermost and strongest part of a castle.
kremlin a Russian citadel.
laager a defensive ring of ox-wagons; (verb) to arrange wagons in such a ring.
laer = LAAGER, a camp; (verb) to make camp.
leaguer the camp of a besieging army; a camp in general; (verb) to besiege.
limes an ancient Roman fortified boundary. Pl. LIMITES.
martello a circular fort for coastal defence. [Fr. Cape Mortella in Corsica, where one resisted for some time a British cannonade in 1794].
mirador a belvedere or watchtower. [Sp. mirar, to look, observe].
moat to surround with a moat.
motte an artificial mound upon which a castle is built.
munify to fortify.
munite to fortify, strengthen.
nuraghe a broch-like Sardinian round tower, probably of the Bronze Age. [Sardinian dialect]. Pl. NURAGHI. Also NURHAG.
nuraghic relating to NURAGHI, Sardinian round towers.
nurhag a broch-like Sardinian round tower, probably of the Bronze Age. [Sardinian dialect]. Also NURAGHE.
obsidional obsidionary of or relating to a siege.
orgue a row of stakes let down like a portcullis.
orillion a semicircular projection on a bastion to protect flanks.
pa pah a hill fort.
palisade a fence of stakes used for defensive purposes; (verb) to equip with a palisade. Also PALISADO.
palisado a fence of stakes used for defensive purposes; (verb) to palisade with a fence of stakes. Pl. PALISADOES. Also PALISADE.
parados an earthworks defending against a rear attack. [Fr. parados from L. parare, to prepare + dorsum, back]. Pl. PARADOSES.
parapet a bank built to provide protection from the enemy's observation and fire; esp. one on top of a wall or rampart, or in front of a trench.
parapeted having a PARAPET.
piend a salient angle.
poliorcetic relating to siegecraft.
poliorcetics the science of siegecraft.
pontlevis a drawbridge.
portcullis a grating of iron or of timbers pointed with iron, hung over the gateway of a fortress, to be let down to prevent the entrance of an enemy.
presidio a place of defense; a fortress; a garrison.
rampart to equip with ramparts.
rampire a rampart.
rampired having RAMPIRES, ramparts.
rath a prehistoric hill fort; (adj.) quick, ready > RATHER, RATHEST.
redan a field fortification with two parapets meeting at an angle.
redoubt a rough and temporary fortification; (arch.) to fear.
reduit a keep or stronghold into which a garrison may retire if the outworks are taken.
refortify to fortify anew.
remblai earth or materials made into a bank after having been excavated.
sallyport a gateway or opening for making a sally from a fortified place.
sanga sangar sanger sungar a temporary fortification.
scalade scalado an ESCALADE, the scaling of walls of a fortress by ladders.
scarcement an offset where a wall or bank of earth, etc., retreats, leaving a shelf or footing.
schanse schantze schanze a heap of stones used as protection against rifle-fire.
sconce a small protective fortification or earthwork; (verb) to entrench, to screen.
shothole a hole made by a shot, or in a leaf by a boring insect; a hole in a wall for shooting from.
stacket a stockade.
stockade a barrier of stakes; (verb) to surround with a stockade.
sungar see SANGA.
tenail tenaille an outwork in a main fortification ditch.
tenaillon an outwork to strengthen the side of a small ravelin.
terreplein a horizontal platform behind a parapet where heavy guns are mounted.
testudo a wheeled shelter used in assaults for protection from above attacks. [L. testudo, tortoise]. Pl. TESTUDOS or TESTUDINES.
tower a tall building, standing alone or forming part of another, e.g. a church; a fortress, castle, with or consisting of a tower.
towerlike like a tower.
towery having towers; adorned or defended by towers > TOWERIER, TOWERIEST.
vallate having a raised rim or rampart.
vallation the building of a VALLUM or rampart.
vallum a rampart; a wall of earth thrown up from a ditch. Pl. VALLUMS.
zareeba zariba zereba zeriba an improvised stockade, esp. one made of thorn bushes, etc.