ENCEINTE (Lat. in, within, cinctus, girdled; to be distinguished from the word meaning "pregnant," from in, not, and cinctus, i.e. with girdle loosened), a French term used technically in fortification for the inner ring of fortifications surrounding a town. Strictly the term was applied to the continuous line of bastions and curtains forming the "body of the place," this last expression being often used as synonymous with enceinte. The outworks, however, close to the enceinte were not considered as forming part of it. In modern fortification the enceinte is usually simply the innermost continuous line of fortifications. In architecture generally an enceinte is the close or precinct of a cathedral, abbey, castle, etc.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)