AskDefine | Define stockade

Dictionary Definition



1 fortification consisting of a fence made of a line of stout posts set firmly for defense
2 a penal camp where political prisoners or prisoners of war are confined (usually under harsh conditions) [syn: concentration camp] v : surround with a stockade in order to fortify

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (RP): /ˌstɒˈkeɪd/, /%stQ"keId/
  • (US): stä'kādʹ, /ˌstɑˈkeɪd/, /%stA"keId/
    Rhymes: -eɪd


  1. an enclosure protected by a wall of wooden posts
  2. a military prison

Extensive Definition

A stockade is an enclosure of palisades and tall walls made of logs placed side by side vertically with the tops sharpened to provide security.

Stockade as a security fence

Stockade fortifications were simple forms of defense of military camps or settlements, used since ancient Roman times and earlier. The troops or settlers would build a stockade by clearing a space of woodland and using the trees whole or chopped in half, with one end sharpened on each. They would dig a narrow trench around the area, and stand the sharpened logs side-by-side inside it, encircling the perimeter. Sometimes they would add additional defense by placing sharpened sticks in a shallow secondary trench outside the stockade. In colder regions, sometimes the stockade received a coating of clay or mud that would make the crude wall wind-proof.
Builders could also place stones or thick mud layers at the foot of the stockade, improving the resistance of the wall. From that the defenders could, if they had the materials, raise a stone or brick wall inside the stockade, creating a more permanent defense while working protected.

Stockade as a military prison

The word stockade also refers to a jail in an army camp, and in some cases, even a crude prison camp or a slave camp. In these cases, the stockade keeps people inside, rather than out. The stockade was also used to put insane people in.

Decorative stockades

Nowadays, stockade walls are often used as garden fencing, made of finished planks more useful for privacy and decoration than security.

See also

stockade in Swedish: Palissad

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

POW camp, abatis, advanced work, balistraria, bank, banquette, barbed-wire entanglement, barbican, barricade, barrier, bartizan, bastille, bastion, battlement, black hole, borstal, borstal institution, breastwork, bridewell, brig, bulwark, calaboose, can, casemate, cell, cheval-de-frise, circumvallation, concentration camp, condemned cell, contravallation, cooler, coop, counterscarp, curtain, death cell, death house, death row, demibastion, detention camp, dike, drawbridge, earthwork, enclosure, entanglement, escarp, escarpment, federal prison, fence, fieldwork, forced-labor camp, fortalice, fortification, gaol, glacis, guardhouse, guardroom, hoosegow, house of correction, house of detention, industrial school, internment camp, jail, jailhouse, jug, keep, labor camp, lockup, loophole, lunette, machicolation, mantelet, maximum-security prison, merlon, minimum-security prison, mound, oubliette, outwork, palisade, parados, parapet, pen, penal colony, penal institution, penal settlement, penitentiary, portcullis, postern gate, prison, prison camp, prisonhouse, rampart, ravelin, redan, redoubt, reform school, reformatory, sally port, scarp, sconce, sponging house, state prison, tenaille, the hole, tollbooth, training school, vallation, vallum, work
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