Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A projecting gallery at the top of a castle wall, supported by a row of corbels and having openings in the floor through which stones and boiling liquids could be dropped on attackers.
  • noun One of these openings.
  • noun A row of small projecting arches used as an ornamental architectural feature.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medieval architecture, an opening in the vault of a portal or passage, or in the floor of a projecting gallery, made for the purpose of hurling missiles, or pouring down molten lead, hot pitch, etc., upon an enemy essaying to enter or mine.
  • noun The act of hurling missiles or of pouring burning liquids upon an enemy through apertures such as those described above.
  • noun By extension, a machicolated parapet or gallery, or a projection supported on corbels, in imitation of medieval machicolated construction, without openings.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Mil. Arch.) An opening between the corbels which support a projecting parapet, or in the floor of a gallery or the roof of a portal, for shooting or dropping missiles upon assailants attacking the base of the walls. Also, the construction of such defenses, in general, when of this character. See Illusts. of Battlement and Castle.
  • noun The act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or melted substances upon assailants through such apertures.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An opening between the corbels which support a projecting parapet, or in the floor of a gallery or the roof of a portal, shooting or dropping missiles upon assailants attacking the base of the walls. Also, the construction of such defenses, in general, when of this character.
  • noun The act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or melted substances upon assailants through such apertures.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy

Etymologies

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