American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A grating of iron or wooden bars or slats, suspended in the gateway of a fortified place and lowered to block passage.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In fortification, a strong grating of timber or iron, somewhat resembling a harrow, made to slide in vertical grooves in the jambs of the entrance-gate of a fortified place, to protect the gate in case of assault. The vertical bars were made either of iron or of wood pointed with iron at the bottom, in order to demolish whatever the portcullis might fall upon. There was usually a series of portcullises in the same gateway. They were probably of Italian origin, and not older than the twelfth century.
- n. In heraldry: Same as lattice
- n. The representation of a portcullis: a rare bearing, but familiar in English art of the fifteenth century from its adoption as a badge by the Tudors and in the city arms of Westminster.
- n. One of the pursuivants of the English College of Heralds: so called from his distinctive badge.
- n. A coin struck in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, with a portcullis stamped on the reverse. Portcullis money consisted of crowns, half-crowns, shillings, and sixpences (regulated according to the weight of the Spanish piaster or dollar and its divisions), and was struck for the use of the East India Company (whence it was also called
- To arm or furnish with a portcullis; hence, to bar; obstruct.
- n. A gate in the form of grating which is lowered into place at the entrance to a castle, fort, etc.
- v. To obstruct with, or as with, a portcullis; to shut; to bar.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Fort.) A grating of iron or of timbers pointed with iron, hung over the gateway of a fortress, to be let down to prevent the entrance of an enemy.
- n. An English coin of the reign of Elizabeth, struck for the use of the East India Company; -- so called from its bearing the figure of a portcullis on the reverse.
- v. rare To obstruct with, or as with, a portcullis; to shut; to bar.
- n. gate consisting of an iron or wooden grating that hangs in the entry to a castle or fortified town; can be lowered to prevent passage
- From Anglo-Norman porte coliz and Old French porte coulëice, from porte ("door") + feminine of colëis ("sliding"), from couler ("to flow"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English port-colice, from Old French porte coleice, sliding gate : porte, gate (from Latin porta; see per-2 in Indo-European roots) + coleice, feminine of coleis, sliding (from Vulgar Latin *cōlātīcius, from Latin cōlātus, past participle of cōlāre, to filter, strain, from cōlum, sieve). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Duke of York in every severy, and with crowned roses and portcullis alternating with each other, intimating that, as the portcullis was the second defence of a fortress when the gate was broken down, so he had a second claim to the crown through his mother, daughter of John de”
“Behind the portcullis was a thick oaken door studded with steel.”
“The gateway had what is called a portcullis; that is, a heavy iron gate suspended by chains, so as to rise and fall.”
“A portcullis is a defensive latticed iron grating hung over the entrance to a fortified castle, the perfect metaphor for News International, which perpetually sees itself as beset by enemies.”
“If he was admitted, the iron grating ( "portcullis") rose slowly on its creaking pulleys, the heavy, wooden doors swung open, and he found himself in the courtyard commanded by the great central tower ( "keep"), where the lord and his family lived, especially in time of war.”
“Wind that windlass as gingerly as though it were a watch with a weak heart; you will be raising a kind of portcullis at the other end of the boathouse, but if you're heard doing it at dead of night we may have to run or swim for it.”
“And when we approached Fort Henry I fully expected to see some grand, imposing structure with "battled towers," "donjon keep," "portcullis,”
“Between the slow ticking of the cogs I listened jealously for foreign sounds, and heard at length a gentle dripping across the breadth of the boathouse; that was the last of the "portcullis," as Raffles called it, rising out of the river; indeed, I could now see the difference in the stretch of stream underneath, for the open end of the boathouse was much less dark than mine; and when the faint band of reflected starlight had broadened as I thought enough, I ceased winding and groped my way down the steps into the boat.”
“Let the portcullis fall! "wondering what a" portcullis "was, and if I should ever see one or even a château-fort.”
“All of the sudden, the crowd begins to cheer and a giant portcullis opens.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘portcullis’.
Please contribute your favorite words from any of Gene Wolfe’s books to this prize-winning list.
In case you come across words in this list which are too commonplace to fit in, please ...
A list of words that are odd or words that I have looked up.
we are all just passing through.
(boundaries, portals and liminal spaces/times)
any and all things heraldry related.
Words that connote making an exit, places to exit, means to an exit.
starting from i dont know the 4th or 5th chapter called 'year of the depend adult undergarment'
Vocabulary from the epic fantasy series by George R. R. Martin!
being items related to mediaeval warfare, arms and armaments.
an immense, grandiloquent list that loads like a thousand years sentence in stone. new words are in the other lists.
Words I come across while reading.
Discombobulating the illiterate since the middle of the last century.
Looking for tweets for portcullis.