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[mur-luh n] /ˈmɜr lən/
(in a battlement) the solid part between two crenels.
Origin of merlon
1695-1705; < French < Italian merlone, augmentative of merlo (in plural, merli battlements) < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for merlons
Historical Examples
  • Then unfolding the letter, he read it, leaning against one of the merlons of the wall.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • The parapets were of sand or soft earth, unprovided with merlons.

    Pictures of Southern Life William Howard Russell
  • From between the merlons stones and arrows leaped as an impetuous answer.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • It filled expeditiously, and the battery was soon erected, the merlons being framed of logs and filled with earth.

    Franklin's Autobiography Benjamin Franklin
  • The feature of piercing the merlons of the battlements for the discharge of arrows is exemplified here, as in the castle.

  • During the Middle Ages the merlons were usually perforated in the middle by a loop-hole.

    Annals of a Fortress E. Viollet-le-Duc
  • The multitude crowded upon them until many had to catch hold of the merlons to keep from falling.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Tiles flew off, bits of plaster sprang from the merlons, and some fell from the wall with broken heads.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Over the merlons appeared sinewy arms hurling missiles, slings swirled discharging stones, and bows bent followed by sharp hisses.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • Many impatient ones swung from the merlons to fall more quickly upon the enemy.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
British Dictionary definitions for merlons


(fortifications) the solid upright section in a crenellated battlement
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Italian merlone, from merlo battlement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for merlons



"solid part of a battlement," 1704, from French merlon (17c.), from Italian merlone, augmentative of merlo "battlement," perhaps a contraction of mergola, diminutive of Latin mergae "two-pronged pitchfork."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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