AskDefine | Define mound

Dictionary Definition



1 (baseball) the slight elevation on which the pitcher stands [syn: hill, pitcher's mound]
2 a small natural hill [syn: knoll, hillock, hummock, hammock]
3 a collection of objects laid on top of each other [syn: pile, heap, cumulus]
4 structure consisting of an artificial heap or bank usually of earth or stones; "they built small mounds to hide behind" [syn: hill]
5 the position on a baseball team of the player who throws the ball for a batter to try to hit; "he has played every position except pitcher"; "they have a southpaw on the mound" [syn: pitcher] v : form into a rounded elevation; "mound earth"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A ball or globe forming part of the regalia of an emperor or other sovereign. It is encircled with bands, enriched with precious stones, and surmounted with a cross; -- called also globe.
  2. An artificial hill or elevation of earth; a raised bank; an embarkment thrown up for defense; a bulwark; a rampart; also, a natural elevation appearing as if thrown up artificially; a regular and isolated hill, hillock, or knoll.
  3. The place where the pitcher stands to pitch.
  4. Vulva.


part of regalia
artificial hill
baseball term

Extensive Definition

A mound is a general term for an artificial heaped pile of earth, gravel, sand, rocks, or debris. The most common use is in reference to natural earthen formation such as hills and mountains, particularly if they appear artificial. The term may also be applied to any rounded area of topographically higher elevation on any surface. Artificial mounds have been created for a variety of reasons throughout history, including ceremonial (platform mound), burial (tumulus), and commemorative purposes (e.g. Kościuszko Mound).

North American archaeology

In the archaeology of the United States and Canada, the term "mound" has specific and technical connotations. In this sense, a mound is a deliberately constructed elevated earthen structure or earthwork, intended for a range of potential uses. In European and Asian archaeology, the word "tumulus" may be used as a synonym for an artificial hill, particularly if the hill is related to particular burial customs.
While the term "mound" may be applied to historic constructions, most mounds in the United States are prehistoric earthworks, built by Native American peoples. Native Americans built a variety of mounds, including flat-topped pyramids or cones known as platform mounds, rounded cones, and ridge or loaf-shaped mounds. Some mounds took on unusual shapes, such as the outline of cosmologically significant animals. These are known as effigy mounds. Some mounds, such as a few in Wisconsin, have rock formations, or petroforms within them, on them, or near them.
While these mounds are perhaps not as famous as burial mounds, like their European analogs, Native American mounds also have a variety of other uses. While some prehistoric cultures, like the Adena culture, used mounds preferentially for burial, others used mounds for other ritual and sacred acts, as well as for secular functions. The platform mounds of the Mississippian culture, for example, may have supported temples, the houses of chiefs, council houses, and may have also acted as a platform for public speaking. Other mounds would have been part of defensive walls to protect a certain area. The Hopewell culture used mounds as markers of complex astronomical alignments related to ceremonies.
Mounds and related earthworks are the only significant monumental construction in prehistoric Eastern and Central North America.

Archaeology elsewhere

Mound, as a technical term in archaeology, is not generally in favor in the rest of the world. More specific local terminology is preferred, and each of these terms has its own article (see below).

Mound types

See also

mound in German: Mound
mound in Polish: Kurhan
mound in Turkish: Höyük

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abatis, advanced work, anthill, arch, arch dam, backstop, balistraria, bamboo curtain, bank, bank up, banquette, bar, barbed-wire entanglement, barbican, barrage, barricade, barrier, barrow, bartizan, bastion, battlement, bear-trap dam, beaver dam, boom, boundary stone, brae, brass, breakwater, breastwork, brick wall, buffer, bulkhead, bulwark, bust, butte, cairn, casemate, cenotaph, cheval-de-frise, circumvallation, cock, cofferdam, column, contravallation, counterscarp, cromlech, cross, cup, curtain, cyclolith, dam, defense, demibastion, dike, ditch, dolmen, down, drawbridge, drift, drumlin, dune, earthwork, elevation, embankment, enclosure, entanglement, escarp, escarpment, fell, fence, fieldwork, foothills, footstone, fortalice, fortification, gate, glacis, grave, gravestone, gravity dam, groin, haycock, haymow, hayrick, haystack, headstone, heap, heap up, hill, hillock, hoarstone, hummock, hump, hydraulic-fill dam, inscription, iron curtain, jam, jetty, kitchen midden, knob, knoll, leaping weir, levee, logjam, loophole, lunette, machicolation, mantelet, marker, mass, mausoleum, megalith, memento, memorial, memorial arch, memorial column, memorial statue, memorial stone, menhir, merlon, milldam, moat, mole, molehill, monolith, monticle, monticule, monument, moor, mountain, mow, necrology, obelisk, obituary, outwork, palisade, parados, parapet, pile, pile up, pillar, plaque, portcullis, postern gate, prize, pyramid, rampart, ravelin, redan, redoubt, reliquary, remembrance, ribbon, rick, rise, roadblock, rock-fill dam, rostral column, sally port, sand dune, scarp, sconce, seawall, shaft, shock, shrine, shutter dam, slope, snowdrift, stack, stack up, stela, stockade, stone, stone wall, stupa, swell, tablet, tell, tenaille, testimonial, tomb, tombstone, tope, tor, trophy, tumulus, vallation, vallum, wall, weir, wicket dam, work
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