PRONUNCIATION: (praw-puhg-NAK-yuh-luhm)

MEANING: noun: A fortress; defense; protection.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin propugnaculum (bulwark), from propugnare (to fight in defense of something), from pro- (toward) + pugnare (to fight), from pugnus (fist). Ultimately from the Indo-European root peuk- (to prick), which is also the source of point, puncture, pungent, punctual, poignant, pounce, poniard, oppugn, repugn, impugn, pugnacious, pugilist, and repugnant. Earliest documented use: 1773.

PRE-PUGNACULUM - little skirmish leading up to the actual conflict

PROPUGNOCULUM - in favor of the beady little eye of a small short-nosed dog

PROPUGNACUUM - a suction cleaning device that's angry all the time