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bulwark (noun) a wall of earth or of a strong material meant for defense; a person or a thing protecting or defending people, a place, or a system; (plural) the sides of a ship above the deck level.
A strong defense, usually in the form of an earthen wall or some strong material, put up against an enemy attack or any other serious threat, is a bulwark. 'The bulwarks on either side of the town could, to some extent, check the enemy advance.' This means that the bulwarks put up on either side of the town slowed down the enemy advance. A person or a thing defending people, or a system, is also a bulwark against a threat to them or it respectively. Oliver Cromwell was the bulwark of the puritan faith and republicanism during the reign of King Richard I in Britain. This means that Oliver Cromwell defended the puritan faith and republicanism against all attacks. The bulwarks of a ship are the sides of the ship above the level of the deck.
- When the USSR at the height of its power posed a threat to the free world, the US stood as a bulwark of the free world, championing individual liberty, capitalism, and free enterprise.
- The heavy shelling and bombardment by the enemy forces rendered the bulwarks put up for the defenses of the city ineffective, making it easy for the enemy forces to enter the city.
- The bulwarks of the ship are rusty and need a fresh coat of paint.