• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Gabion (Fort) A hollow cylinder of wickerwork, like a basket without a bottom. Gabions are made of various sizes, and filled with earth in building fieldworks to shelter men from an enemy's fire.
    • Gabion (Hydraul. Engin) An openwork frame, as of poles, filled with stones and sunk, to assist in forming a bar dyke, etc., as in harbor improvement.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gabion In fortification, a large basket of wickerwork constructed with stakes and osiers, or green twigs, in a cylindrical form, but without a bottom, varying in diameter from 20 to 70 inches, and in height from 33 inches to 5 or 6 feet, filled with earth, and serving to shelter men from an enemy's fire. In a siege, when making a trench, a row of gabions is placed on the outside nearest the fortress, and filled with earth dug from the trench, forming a breastwork that is proof against musketry fire. By increasing the number of rows to cover the points of junction, complete protection can be attained. Gabions are also largely used to form the foundations of dams and jetties. They are filled with stones, and sunk or anchored in streams where they will become loaded with silt. See jetty.
    • n gabion See the quotation.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gabion gā′bi-un (fort.) a bottomless basket of wicker-work filled with earth, used for shelter from the enemy's fire while digging trenches, or in forming the foundation of a jetty
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F., from It. gabbione, a large cage, gabion, from gabbia, cage, L. cavea,. See Cage
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—It. gabbione, a large cage—gabbia—L. cavea, a cage.


In literature:

By the side of each of these batteries other workmen were strengthening gabions filled with earth, the lining of another battery.
"Ten Years Later" by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
In the Fort of Rosny a sailor working at the gabions was carrying a sack of earth.
"The Memoirs of Victor Hugo" by Victor Hugo
By the side of each of these batteries other workmen were strengthening gabions filled with earth, the lining of another battery.
"The Vicomte de Bragelonne" by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
They required one million sand-bags and fifty thousand gabions.
"The Art of War" by Baron Henri de Jomini
They are making fascines and gabions.
"French and English" by Evelyn Everett-Green
It is used in the double sap in connection with gabions.
"Elements of Military Art and Science" by Henry Wager Halleck
Reliquiae Trottosienses, or Catalogue of the Gabions of the late Jonathan Oldbuck.
"Sir Walter Scott as a Critic of Literature" by Margaret Ball
Good gabions protected them in front, and there was a plentiful supply of fascines lying all about.
"The Insurrection in Paris" by An Englishman: Davy
Miniature mountain ranges they seemed, deeply ditched, and revetted with sods, fascines, hurdles, gabions or sand bags.
"Campaigns of a Non-Combatant," by George Alfred Townsend
Gabions are like large round hampers, without top or bottom, to be filled with earth.
"Taking Tales" by W.H.G. Kingston

In news:

Paul Henecke, left, and Roy Owens with the North Cascades Job Corps place a gabion basket into position.
Called "gabions" — from the Italian word gabbione, which means "big cage " — the aluminum baskets soon would become an exotic solution to the couple's need for a serious retaining wall behind their house.