Definition of donjon in English:
- Thus, for example, while ‘brick houses’ or ‘timber - framed houses’ may indeed be found, ‘moats,’ ‘donjons,’ ‘cruck vaulting,’ or ‘keeps’ - all of which are discussed at several points in the text - cannot.
- At Chepstow too, Roman tile and brick was deliberately re-used, here to form a conspicuous string course on the exterior of the Norman donjon that, with its echoes of imperial authority, faced into the unconquered lands of South Wales.
- While one of the words most commonly identified with castles is ‘keep’, the term is virtually unknown in medieval documentation where the term donjon was generally used.
Middle English: variant of dungeon.
dungeon from Middle English:
The word dungeon had two main senses when it was first used in the 14th century: ‘the great tower or keep of a castle’ and ‘an underground prison cell’. The first is now usually spelled donjon and regarded as a separate word. The core meaning was ‘lord's tower’, and the word goes back to Latin dominus ‘lord, master’, through which it is related to dame and danger.
- British & World English dictionary
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