cheval de frise

noun, plural che·vaux-de-frise [shuhvoh-duhfreez] /ʃəˈvoʊ dəˈfriz/. Usually chevaux-de-frise.

  1. a portable obstacle, usually a sawhorse, covered with projecting spikes or barbed wire, for military use in closing a passage, breaking in a defensive wall, etc.

noun plural chevaux-de-frise (ʃəˌvəʊdəˈfriːz)

  1. a portable barrier of spikes, sword blades, etc, used to obstruct the passage of cavalry
  2. a row of spikes or broken glass set as an obstacle on top of a wall

1680s, from French, literally “horse of Frisia,” supposedly because it was first employed there as a defense against cavalry; from French cheval “horse” (see cavalier (n.)). Plural chevaux de frise.

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