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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
  • Many times he walked to the merlons of the azoteas, and saw the tzin on the temple, or listened to his familiar cry in the street.

    The Fair God Lew Wallace
  • Then unfolding the letter, he read it, leaning against one of the merlons of the wall.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • Over the merlons appeared sinewy arms hurling missiles, slings swirled discharging stones, and bows bent followed by sharp hisses.

    Snnica Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • The parapets were of sand or soft earth, unprovided with merlons.

    Pictures of Southern Life William Howard Russell
  • An instant later she scrambled over the merlons and stood up on a flat roof which covered a house that was built against the wall.

  • From between the merlons stones and arrows leaped as an impetuous answer.

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

    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 cord tightened, and the four men had soon hoisted the brother up to the merlons.

    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
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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