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bulwark (n.)

early 15c., "a fortification outside a city wall or gate; a rampart, barricade," from Middle Dutch bulwerke or Middle High German bolwerc, probably [Skeat] from bole "plank, tree trunk" (from Proto-Germanic *bul-, from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to blow, swell") + werc "work" (see work (n.)). Thus "bole-work," a construction of logs. Figurative sense "means of defense or security" is from mid-15c. A doublet of boulevard.

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Definitions of bulwark from WordNet
1
bulwark (n.)
an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes;
Synonyms: rampart / wall
bulwark (n.)
a fencelike structure around a deck (usually plural);
bulwark (n.)
a protective structure of stone or concrete; extends from shore into the water to prevent a beach from washing away;
Synonyms: breakwater / groin / groyne / mole / seawall / jetty
2
bulwark (v.)
defend with a bulwark;
From wordnet.princeton.edu