a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy
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.
The act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or melted substances upon assailants through such apertures.
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 upen 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
the act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or melted substances upon assailants through such apertures
Origin: [Cf. LL. machicolamentum, machacolladura, F. mchicolis, mchecoulis; perh. fr. F. mche match, combustible matter + OF. coulis, couleis, flowing, fr. OF. & F. couler to flow. Cf. Match for making fire, and Cullis.]
A machicolation is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones, or other objects, could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall. The design was adopted in the Middle Ages in Europe when Norman crusaders returned from the Holy Land. A machicolated battlement projects outwards from the supporting wall in order to facilitate this. A hoarding is a similar structure made of wood, usually temporarily constructed in the event of a siege. Advantages of machicolations over wooden hoardings include the greater strength of stone battlements, as well as the fireproof properties. The word derives from the Old French word machecol, mentioned in Medieval Latin as machecollum and ultimately from Old French macher 'crush', 'wound' and col 'neck'. Machicolate is only recorded in the 18th century in English, but a verb machicollāre is attested in Anglo-Latin. The Spanish word denoting this structure, matacán, is similarly composed from "matar canes" meaning roughly "killing dogs", the latter being a reference to infidels. A variant of a machicolation, set in the ceiling of a passage or over a gateway, was known as a meutrier or colloquially as a murder-hole.
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
mach-i-ko-lā′shun, n. (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.—adj. Machic′olated. [Fr. mâchicoulis, from mâche, mash, coulis, a flowing—L. colāre, to filter.]
The numerical value of machicolation in Chaldean Numerology is: 9
The numerical value of machicolation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6
Images & Illustrations of machicolation
Translations for machicolation
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for machicolation »
Find a translation for the machicolation definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these machicolation definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"machicolation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 17 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/machicolation>.