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Definition something that offers protection — especially a defensive wall or embankment, or a sea wall

or (especially in classic literature):  the part of a ship's side that  is above the upper deck
  • It is a bulwark against storms.
bulwark = something that offers protection
  • The sailors looked over the bulwarks.
  • We have seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger
    James Madison  --  Federalist Papers
  • Fallen is the wall on which we relied as an impregnable bulwark both for us and our fleet.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • Every soul aboard stood at the bulwarks or on the seats of the steamer and stared at that distant shape, higher than the trees or church towers inland, and advancing with a leisurely parody of a human stride.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War Of The Worlds
  • Lucy, leaning over the bulwark,
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Voyage of the Dawn Trader
  • bulwark = the part of a ship's side that is above the upper deck
  • Hands, who was not so far up, was in consequence nearer to the ship and fell between me and the bulwarks.
    Robert Louis Stevenson  --  Treasure Island
  • bulwarks = the part of a ship's side that  is above the upper deck
  • It is the bulwark against starvation.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Pearl
  • bulwark = something that offers protection
  • ...and many banners waving from the decks, and a row of shields, bright as silver, along the bulwarks.
    C.S. Lewis  --  The Silver Chair
  • bulwarks = the part of a ship's side that  is above the upper deck
  • Quite conceivably it was an empty ritual but it was seemingly the only assimilative, traditionary bulwark against the decay of morals.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • The gatehouse, two huge bulwarks, the arched gate between them, crenellations all along the top ....
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Storm of Swords
  • Our camp was enclosed with a solid wall of the dead—a bulwark, a breastwork, of corpses, you may say.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • It was, as we have said, the mother's last bulwark.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • He calls it "the BULWARK of the British Constitution."
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • I required more, a discipline as bulwark within which to hold all I valued, a shield against the onslaught.
    Luis J. Rodriguez  --  Always Running
  • From the hallowed hills of sacred Sinai, in the days of remote antiquity, came the law which has been our bulwark and our shield.
    Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee  --  Inherit the Wind
  • Flames of abnormal size were pursuing them, licking up the sides of the junk bulwarks, which were crumbling to soot at their touch.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • When Edna relented, the last major bulwark of opposition or doubt among the parents tumbled to the ground.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Water is Wide
  • The inherited stupidity of the race—sound English common sense he jovially termed it—was shown to be the proper bulwark for Society.
    Oscar Wilde  --  The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • And a non-Muslim is a nonbeliever standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam.
    Warren St. John  --  Outcasts United

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