[mur-luh n]

Origin of merlon

1695–1705; < French < Italian merlone, augmentative of merlo (in plural, merli battlements) < ? Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for merlons

Historical Examples of merlons

  • Then unfolding the letter, he read it, leaning against one of the merlons of the wall.


    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.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for merlons


  1. fortifications the solid upright section in a crenellated battlement

Word Origin for merlon

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

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