AskDefine | Define palisade

Dictionary Definition

palisade n : fortification consisting of a strong fence made of stakes driven into the ground v : surround with a wall in order to fortify [syn: wall, fence, fence in, surround]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Palisade



palissade, from Old French, from Old Provençal palissada, from palissa, stake



  1. A wall of wooden stakes, used as a defensive barrier.
  2. A line of cliffs.
  3. An even row of cells.


A wall of wooden stakes
A line of cliffs

Extensive Definition

A palisade is a steel or wooden fence or wall of variable height, used as a defensive structure.

Typical construction

Typical construction consisted of small or mid sized trunks of trees aligned vertically, with no spacing in between. The trunks would be sharpened or pointed at the top end, and be driven into the ground on the other end. They would sometimes be reinforced with additional construction. The height of a palisade can range from a few feet or more to nearly ten feet. As a defensive structure, palisades were often used in conjunction with earthworks.
Palisades were an excellent option for small forts or other hastily constructed fortifications. Since they were wood, they could be quickly and easily built from materials readily available. They proved to be effective protection for short-term conflicts, and were an effective deterrent against small forces. However, due to their wooden construction, they were also very vulnerable to fire and siege weapons.
Often, a palisade would be constructed around a castle as a temporary wall until a permanent stone wall could be erected. They were frequently used in New France.

Precolumbian North America

Many settlements of the Mississippian culture of the Southeastern United States also made use of palisades. The most prominent example is the Cahokia site in Collinsville, Illinois. A wooden stockade with a series of watchtowers or bastions at regular intervals formed a two-mile long enclosure around Monk's Mound and the Grand Plaza. Archaeologists found evidence of the stockade during excavation of the area and indications that it was rebuilt several times, in slightly different locations. The stockade seems to have separated Cahokia's main ceremonial precinct from other parts of the city.
Other examples include the Angel Mounds Site in Southern Indiana, Kincaid Site in Illinois, Parkin Site and Nodena Site in Southeastern Arkansas and the Etowah Site in Central Western Georgia, USA.
palisade in Belarusian: Тын
palisade in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Астрог (фартыфікацыя)
palisade in Czech: Palisáda
palisade in German: Palisade
palisade in Esperanto: Palisaro
palisade in Croatian: Palisada
palisade in Latvian: Palisāde
palisade in Lithuanian: Palisadas
palisade in Dutch: Palissade
palisade in Norwegian: Palisade
palisade in Polish: Palisada
palisade in Romanian: Palisadă
palisade in Russian: Палисад
palisade in Ukrainian: Палісад

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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