Definition of the Thames Barrier from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Thames Barrier

 
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a large barrier built across the River Thames at Woolwich, east of London, to prevent London from being flooded. It was completed in 1982 and officially opened in 1984. It consists of ten gates, which lie on the bottom of the river when the barrier is not required. If there is a danger of flooding, the gates rise to form a solid wall 50 feet/15 metres high.