machicolation

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n machicolation a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Machicolation (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.
    • Machicolation The act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or melted substances upon assailants through such apertures.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n machicolation 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. In the gallery type machicolations are formed by setting out the parapet or breastwork, B, supported on corbels; beyond the face of the wall, G, spaces between the corbels are left open, and constitute the machicolations. (See cut on following page.) Machicolations of permanent construction in stone were not introduced until toward the end of the twelfth century; but in the hoarding of wood with which walls and towers were crowned in time of need from the earliest period of the middle ages, their use was constant.
    • n machicolation The act of hurling missiles or of pouring burning liquids upon an enemy through apertures such as those described above.
    • n machicolation By extension, a machicolated parapet or gallery, or a projection supported on corbels, in imitation of medieval machicolated construction, without openings.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Machicolation mach-i-ko-lā′shun (archit.) a projecting parapet or gallery with openings for pouring molten substances upon an attacking force below: the construction or use of such means of defence
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. LL. machicolamentum, machacolladura, F. mâchicolis, mâchecoulis,; perh. fr. F. mèche, match, combustible matter + OF. coulis, couleis, flowing, fr. OF. & F. couler, to flow. Cf. Match for making fire, and Cullis
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. mâchicoulis, from mâche, mash, coulis, a flowing—L. colāre, to filter.

Usage

In literature:

They even stood upon the machicolations of the Porte Sainte-Antoine.
"Notre-Dame de Paris" by Victor Hugo
It was neither flanked nor machicolated, and it might have been mined or assaulted at any point.
"The Thirsty Sword" by Robert Leighton
Here are three pentagonal towers, with machicolated battlements, and showing all the marks of war.
"Young Americans Abroad" by Various
You must all know well the look of the machicolated parapets in mediaeval castles.
"Love's Meinie" by John Ruskin
It is a fine machicolated building, which was in the Middle Ages the prison of the Republic.
"Memoirs" by Charles Godfrey Leland
This wooden story probably formed the bell chamber; the machicolation-like supports still existed in 1781.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Rochester" by G. H. Palmer
We turn L. by the latter street and soon sight on our R. the massive machicolated Tower of Jean sans Peur (p. 133).
"The Story of Paris" by Thomas Okey
It is crowned by a machicolated cornice similar to that on the east end of S. Theodosia.
"Byzantine Churches in Constantinople" by Alexander Van Millingen
The base of the mount is surrounded with high thick walls, flanked with semi-circular towers all machicolated, and bastions.
"Architectural Antiquities of Normandy" by John Sell Cotman
Its orchid-shaped machicolations have also survived, and even to-day they are noticeably beautiful.
"Legends & Romances of Brittany" by Lewis Spence
Some still retain their towers and machicolations.
"Glories of Spain" by Charles W. Wood
He peered into slits, glanced at the machicolations aloft, measured salients and re-entrants and dead-ground with his eyes.
"The Tower of Oblivion" by Oliver Onions
Hence, I think the propped machicolations of the Palazzo Vecchio and Duomo of Florence far grander headings than any form of Greek cornice.
"The Seven Lamps of Architecture" by John Ruskin
A few feet farther on was a portcullis, and then a second, the space between protected by loopholes and machicolations.
"The Wye and Its Associations a picturesque ramble" by Leitch Ritchie
It had four great towers, crenelated and machicolated, after the best Gothic fortresses of the time.
"Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and the Loire Country" by Francis Miltoun
Another machicolation (I) opened from the roof in front of the second portcullis and second door.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 5" by Various
Small watch-towers, corbelled at the summits upon false machicolations, are adjacent to the larger.
"British Castles" by Charles H. Ashdown
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