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1. A cylindrical wicker basket filled with earth and stones, formerly used in building fortifications.
2. A metal cage filled with rocks, used in constructing dams, embankments, and other structures.

[French, from Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia, cage, from Latin cavea.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Civil Engineering) a cylindrical metal container filled with stones, used in the construction of underwater foundations
2. (Fortifications) a wickerwork basket filled with stones or earth, used (esp formerly) as part of a fortification
[C16: from French: basket, from Italian gabbione, from gabbia cage, from Latin cavea; see cage]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈgeɪ bi ən)

a metal cylinder filled with stones and sunk in water, used in laying the foundations of a dam or jetty.
[1570–80; < Middle French: basket < Italian gabbione, augmentative of gabbia cage < Latin cavea]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
By the side of each of these batteries other workmen were strengthening gabions filled with earth, the lining of another battery.
Today, they now have better access through the 5-meter paved carriageway that has a 1.5-meter wide shoulder and gabions for slope protection.
He said a half of the money has already been released and is currently being used to clear bushes along rivers and building gabions.
The project, particularly the gabions, will help prevent erosion along the Ingalera riverbank and reduce the abrupt rising of water in the area.
Mr Seema stated that gabion structures are made up of stacked stone filled gabions, tied together with strong wire to control soil erosion in affected areas and said the office has since constructed a total of 47 gabion control structures in Ntlhantlhe.
It added: "When submerged, the gabions could pose a hazard to navigation in an area where boat transfers from vessels to shore takes place."
They are a proven long-term solution to traditional alternatives such as riprap, gabions, structural concrete, grout mats and other durable hard-armor protection systems.
GABIONS - wire cages filled with stone, cobbles, tiles, bottles and logs - make great screens, benches or retaining walls for raised beds to reflect your individual style.
Submar's engineered systems are a dynamic state, combining time-tested articulated concrete mat technology and 'green' design applications, which offer customers a variety of erosion control solutions while protecting nature." Two products listed are UltraFlex[TM] Articulating Concrete Block Mats (alternatives to rip rap, gabions, structural concrete, grout mats and other durable hard-armor protection systems) and UltraLok[TM], described as hand-placed interlocking blocks for installation in areas where heavy equipment can't be used due to site constraints and access issues.
While the house may on first impressions appear to be a bit of a one-liner, relying solely on its novel use of hanging gabions, the architect does allude to a number of more subtle gestures.