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a protective shelter


redoubt = Schanze, Festung, Bollwerk, Redoute; Etwas, das einen Glauben oder eine Lebensweise hält oder verteidigt, insbesondere eine, die verschwindet oder bedroht ist



“Protests have erupted against another Syrian dictator. The jihadists’ last REDOUBT in the Syrian province of Idlib is in trouble. Syrians in Idlib and Binnish march in protest demanding the leader's removal.”

The Economist — ‘Jihadist blues’ (14th April 2024)

“The dismantling of Trussonomics: PM’s last REDOUBT bites the dust. Liz Truss’s one remaining ‘growth-fuelled’ policy, the energy price guarantee, failed to survive.”

Nils Pratley — Headline in The Guardian (17th October 2022)

Did you


- something that holds or defends a belief or a way of life, especially one that is disappearing or threatened

- a defended position, a protective barrier

- a secure retreat, a stronghold

Merriam-Webster / Cambridge Dictionary


The word "redoubt" originates from the French word redoute, which in turn came from the Italian word ridotta. The Italian ridotta derives from the Medieval Latin word reductus, meaning "place of refuge" or "retreat".

The earliest known use of the word "redoubt" in English dates back to around 1400, in the writings of the poet and administrator Geoffrey Chaucer. The word was borrowed into English during the Middle English period (1150-1500).


There are 4 situations where it is probably better to fight rather than to run away:

1. In cases of self-defense, especially when escape is not feasible, fighting may be the only option. For instance, if an individual is physically cornered.

2. In professional or personal conflicts, addressing issues directly can prevent long-term tension and stress. Confronting a difficult colleague or addressing misunderstandings head-on can lead to clearer communication and resolution. Standing up to a psychological threat, such as bullying or harassment, can be more effective than ducking down and avoiding it.

3. Fighting for social justice or for protecting the natural environment, can result in significant societal changes; for example, the civil rights movement, or initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.

4. In survival scenarios, such as facing a wild animal, displaying aggression might deter the threat more effectively than running,… which could provoke a chase.

Confronted with danger, are Fight or Flight our only options? Actually no, there are two other choices, Freeze or Fawn (schmeicheln, schleimen),… but that’s a story for another day.


battle to the last, dig in one's heels, endure to the end, faithful to the last, fight to the finish (tooth and nail), game to the last, hang on in there, hold fast (one's ground, the fort), in for the long haul, keep the faith (the flag flying), make a final stand, never say die, persevere against all odds, refuse to give up the ghost (to throw in the towel), ride it out, soldier on, stand firm (one's ground), stay the course (resolute), stick it out (to one's guns, to one's last), take a stand, tough it out, wage a battle royal, weather the storm


barbican, bastille, bastion, bulwark, castle, citadel, defense, defensive position, entrenchment, fastness, fort, fortification, fortress, garrison, guard, last ditch (resort), keep, protection, rampart, REDOUBT, refuge, safe haven, sanctuary, sanctum, shelter, stockade, stronghold, storm cellar

SMUGGLE OWAD into a sentence, for example:

“Today’s OWAD 'REDOUBT' reminds me of Dylan Thomas’s famous lines, ‘Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light’. “

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