portcullis

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n portcullis 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
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Portcullis (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. "Let the portcullis fall.""She . . . the huge portcullis high updrew."
    • Portcullis 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. t Portcullis To obstruct with, or as with, a portcullis; to shut; to bar.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n portcullis 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 portcullis In heraldry: Same as lattice
    • n portcullis 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 portcullis One of the pursuivants of the English College of Heralds: so called from his distinctive badge.
    • n portcullis 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 India money).
    • portcullis To arm or furnish with a portcullis; hence, to bar; obstruct.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Portcullis pōrt-kul′is a sliding door of cross timbers pointed with iron, hung over a gateway, so as to be let down in a moment to keep out an enemy:
    • v.t Portcullis to obstruct, as with a portcullis
    • n Portcullis pōrt-kul′is (her.) a lattice: one of the pursuivants of the English College of Heralds: an Elizabethan coin bearing a portcullis on the reverse
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. porte coulisse, coleïce, a sliding door, fr. L. colare, colatum, to filter, to strain: cf. F. couler, to glide. See Port a gate, and cf. Cullis Colander
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. portecoulisseporte, a gate, coulisse, a groove—L. colāre, to strain.

Usage

In literature:

As much so as though it had drawbridge, portcullis, redoubt, bastion and armed turret.
"The Wedding Ring" by T. De Witt Talmage
Thus wilt thou be able to pass unseen between the bars of the portcullis.
"King Arthur's Knights" by Henry Gilbert
The following day, the portcullis was lowered and Mehlen came out upon the bridge.
"The Swedish Revolution Under Gustavus Vasa" by Paul Barron Watson
Let the portcullis fall!
"The Girl and the Kingdom" by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Half-way across was a decayed wooden door, which once had done duty as a gate behind the portcullis.
"The False Chevalier" by William Douw Lighthall
That of the Prince was the first to do so, whose archers were formed in the manner of a portcullis, or harrow, and the men-at-arms in the rear.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07" by Various
At the inner entrance to the archway was suspended a portcullis of wrought-iron bars.
"The Doomsman" by Van Tassel Sutphen
Luxuriant plants of American bell-vine covered the drawbridge and portcullis.
"The Magic World" by Edith Nesbit
Has Lord Portcullis called?
"Aladdin of London" by Sir Max Pemberton
And the guards hurried to let down the portcullis for him, and with low bows bade him enter.
"The Book of Saints and Friendly Beasts" by Abbie Farwell Brown
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In poetry:

A strong portcullis entrance show'd,
With ivy brown hung over;
And stagnate the green moat was found,
Whene'er the Trav'ller wander'd round,
Or moon-enamour'd Lover.
"Golfre, Gothic Swiss Tale" by Mary Darby Robinson

In news:

Former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond leaves Portcullis House after appearing before the Treasury Select Committee in London, England.
A Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 photo from files showing BBC Director General George Entwistle as he leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Parliament Select Committee.
A Tuesday Oct 23, 2012 photo from files showing BBC Director General George Entwistle as he leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Parliament Select Committee .
James Murdoch, left, and Rupert Murdoch, give evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in this image taken from TV in Portcullis House in central London, July 19 2011.
George Entwistle, center, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Director General, talks to members of the media, as he departs Portcullis house in central London.
A Oct 23, 2012 photo from files showing BBC Director General George Entwistle as he leaves Portcullis House in London after giving evidence to the Parliament Select Committee.
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In science:

Portcullis: Protecting connection setup from denial-of-capability attacks.
Efficient Defence against Misbehaving TCP Receiver DoS Attacks
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