What does the word abatis mean?

Usage examples for abatis

  1. The little wooded knoll of Mougnot, which forms a sort of bridge- head to the narrow gorge through which the road passes, had been fortified by the pioneers with abatis, battery emplacements and rifle- pits, the town in its rear prepared for defence, and the base of the heights on either of its sides faced with artillery. – The Franco-German War of 1870-71 by Count Helmuth, von Moltke
  2. They took post behind an abatis at a place called La Belle Famille, and the Five Nation warriors placed themselves on their flanks. – Historic Handbook of the Northern Tour by Francis Parkman
  3. Just in front of the abatis there was open ground for perhaps two hundred yards. – Famous Adventures And Prison Escapes of the Civil War by Various