Share this entry

portcullis Line breaks: port|cul¦lis
Pronunciation: /pɔːtˈkʌlɪs/

Definition of portcullis in English:

noun

Image of portcullis
A strong, heavy grating that can be lowered down grooves on each side of a gateway to block it.
Example sentences
  • Unbroken, that is, except by the gate itself, with the heavy iron bars of the portcullis still lowered at this early hour.
  • Erastus answered and the gate was lowered, the portcullis drawn up.
  • The guard nodded to the old gatekeeper, who set to work hefting the chains that would raise the small portcullis that now blocked the way out into the city.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French porte coleice 'sliding door', from porte 'door' (from Latin porta) + coleice 'sliding' (feminine of couleis, from Latin colare 'to filter').

Derivatives

portcullised

1
adjective

Words that rhyme with portcullis

Dulles

Definition of portcullis in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
noun
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...