AskDefine | Define foxhole

Dictionary Definition

foxhole n : a small dugout with a pit for individual shelter against enemy fire [syn: fox hole]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A small pit dug into the ground as a shelter for protection against enemy fire.


A small pit dug into the ground as a shelter

Extensive Definition

A defensive fighting position (DFP) is one of several types of earthwork constructed in a military context. A DFP (known more commonly as a "foxhole" (U.S. Army slang), a "slit trench" (British and Canadian military argot), a "fighting pit" (ANZAC forces terminology), or simply – but inaccurately – as a "trench" generally refers to a position large enough to accommodate a soldier's entire body and equipment. Modern militaries publish and distribute elaborate field manuals for the proper construction of DFPs in stages. Each stage develops the fighting position, gradually increasing its effectiveness, while always maintaining functionality. In this way a soldier can improve the position over time, while being able to stop at any time and use the position in a fight.
Typically, a DFP is a pit dug deep enough to stand in, with only the head exposed, and a small step at the bottom that allows you to sit down in the hole to avoid fire and tank treads. Also, there are usually deeper, narrow slits called grenade sumps at the bottom to allow a grenade to be kicked in to minimize damage.
Time permitting, DFPs can be enlarged to allow a machine gun crew and ammunition to be protected, as well as additional overhead cover via timbers.
foxhole in German: Schützenloch
foxhole in Finnish: Potero

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abri, air-raid shelter, antre, approach trench, asylum, bolt-hole, bomb shelter, bombproof, bunker, burrow, cache, cave, cavern, communication trench, concealment, corner, countermine, coupure, cove, cover, covert, coverture, cranny, cubby, cubbyhole, cyclone cellar, dark corner, den, ditch, double sap, dugout, earth, entrenchment, fallout shelter, fire trench, flying sap, fortified tunnel, fosse, funk hole, gallery, grot, grotto, hideaway, hideout, hidey hole, hiding, hiding place, hole, lair, mine, moat, niche, nook, parallel, recess, refuge, retreat, safety zone, sanctuary, sap, secret place, sewer, shelter, slit trench, stash, storm cave, storm cellar, subterrane, subway, trench, tunnel, undercovert, warren
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