embrasures in Flodden Tower, Edinburgh


From Middle French embrasure.

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embrasure (plural embrasures)

  1. (architecture, military) Any of the indentations between the merlons of a battlement.
    • 1938, George Orwell, chapter 6, in Homage to Catalonia[1]:
      But there were less casualties than might have been expected, and the barricade rose steadily, a wall of concrete two feet thick, with embrasures for two machine-guns and a small field gun.
  2. The slanting indentation in a wall for a door or window, such that the space is larger on the inside than the outside.
    • 1916, James Joyce, chapter 3, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man[2]:
      When the fit had spent itself he walked weakly to the window and, lifting the sash, sat in a corner of the embrasure and leaned his elbow upon the sill.
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate 2010, p. 155:
      Now he stands in a window embrasure, Liz's prayer book in hand.
  3. (obsolete) An embrace.
    • 1601, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act IV, Scene 4, [3]
      And suddenly; where injury of chance / Puts back leave-taking, justles roughly by / All time of pause, rudely beguiles our lips / Of all rejoindure, forcibly prevents / Our lock'd embrasures, strangles our dear vows / Even in the birth of our own labouring breath:




embraser +‎ -ure


embrasure f (plural embrasures)

  1. embrasure

Further readingEdit