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parapet (n.)

1580s, "wall or rampart rising breast-high," from French parapet "breastwork" (16c.), or directly from Italian parapetto, from para- "defense" (see para- (2)) + petto "breast," from Latin pectus (see pectoral (adj.)). Meaning "low wall at the edge of a structure to keep people from falling off" is from 1590s.

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Definitions of parapet from WordNet

parapet (n.)
a low wall along the edge of a roof or balcony;
parapet (n.)
fortification consisting of a low wall;
Synonyms: breastwork
From wordnet.princeton.edu