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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Gabion \Ga"bi*on\, n.[F., from It. gabbione a large cage, gabion, from gabbia cage, L. cavea. See Cage.] 1. (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. [1913 Webster] 2. (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. [1913 Webster]