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a. A projecting gallery at the top of a castle wall, supported by a row of corbels and having openings in the floor through which stones and boiling liquids could be dropped on attackers.
b. One of these openings.
2. A row of small projecting arches used as an ornamental architectural feature.


1. (Fortifications) (esp in medieval castles) a projecting gallery or parapet supported on corbels having openings through which missiles could be dropped
2. any such opening


(məˌtʃɪk əˈleɪ ʃən)

1. an opening in the floor between the corbels of a projecting gallery or parapet, through which missiles might be cast on an enemy below.
2. a gallery or parapet with such openings.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.machicolation - a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castlemachicolation - a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy
breastwork, parapet - fortification consisting of a low wall
References in periodicals archive ?
It drew upon castles, cathedrals, cloisters, and skyscrapers: the quatrefoils in the towers and the arched entryway, with its tendrils, rosettes, shields, and flowered capitals; the vaulted ceiling and archways of the front hall and main staircase; gargoyles holding shields; the open loggia flanking the interior courts; and the machicolations and corbels above the entrance and below the top floor.
Wedyn y ramp enfawr o'r dref at y fynedfa gyntaf a wedyn y barbican a'r machicolations carreg wrth y fynedfa fewnol orllewinol, y machicolations cyntaf o'r fath ym Mhrydain.
Building activities followed a design prototype of a series of fortified structures one above the other, providing successive lines of retreat, and protected by curtain walls with battlements, bastions, and a number of gates with machicolations on the main access route.