cas·tle | \ˈka-səl \

Definition of castle 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a large fortified building or set of buildings

b : a massive or imposing house

2 : a retreat safe against intrusion or invasion


castled; castling\ˈka-s(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of castle (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to establish in a castle

2 : to move (the chess king) in castling

intransitive verb

: to move a chess king two squares toward a rook and in the same move the rook to the square next past the king

Illustration of castle

Illustration of castle


castle 1a: 1 fortified approach, 2 moat, 3 drawbridge, 4 ward, 5 angle tower, 6 donjon or keep, 7 chapel, 8 gallery

In the meaning defined above

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Examples of castle in a Sentence


Millionaires built their castles along the lake. the implacable attackers placed the castle under a prolonged siege

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Peterson’s creation was a medieval castle outfitted with a dock, miniature armies and multiple custom floors. Austin Horn, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Brick Fiesta invites enthusiasts, first-timers alike to marvel at Lego creations," 7 July 2018 Maybe worth trying: insert a 1m diameter nylon tube (or shorter set of tubes for most difficult sections) through cave network & inflate with air like a bouncy castle. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "Elon Musk: let’s build an “air tunnel underwater” to save the Thai boys in the cave," 6 July 2018 Among the options will be a 800-plus-piece Hogwarts castle that costs $99. Dewayne Bevil,, "First Lego look: Wizarding World of Harry Potter minifigs," 27 June 2018 But despite a few co-star absences, Harington and Leslie's wedding was completely gorgeous, from its country church service, to its reception in a castle. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Some of Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Game of Thrones Co-Stars Didn't Make It to the Wedding," 24 June 2018 The wedding took place in a real-life castle owned by her family., "Kit Harington & Rose Leslie Just Had The Only Happy GoT Wedding — & The Photos Prove It," 23 June 2018 Not everyone has a 3,000-acre estate and a castle; what can the rest of us do to help wildlife and the soil recover? National Geographic, "When Nature Runs Wild, the Results Can Be Spectacular," 16 June 2018 People reported that the actor and her new husband held their nuptials at the Leslie Estate, an actual castle in Glaslough, Ireland. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, "The Perfectionists Actor Sasha Pieterse Is Now Married," 29 May 2018 Is that a Disney castle rising in the distant murk, or just a jet of swamp gas? Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This is the real point of the combination as now Black will not be able to castle and White can pretty much at his leisure, build up an attack. Chris Chase,, "Chess notes," 27 May 2018 After your tour, strip to your bathing suit and spend the rest of the day swimming, sand-castling, and sunning. Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "10 Historic L.A. Places to Visit on a Sunny Day," 14 May 2018 Now Black cannot castle kingside after Be3 and Qd2.) Michael Ciamarra,, "Alabama's rising chess star Arden Markin, tournament prize winners," 11 June 2017 Jasper Hall of Fame Classic Lake Central 15, Castle 2 Castle 100 01 — 2 6 2 Lake Central 058 2x — 15 7 0 WP: Zack Dobbs 5 IP, 5 SO. Lake Central 10, Jasper 3 Lake Central 204 102 1 — 10 8 2 Jasper 011 010 0 — 3 6 3 WP: Jason Lamont 5 IP, 4 SO. Post-Tribune, "Post-Tribune Local Scoreboard for Sunday, May 14," 13 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'castle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of castle


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1587, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for castle


Middle English castel, from Old English, from Old French & Latin; Old French dialect (Norman-Picard) castel, from Latin castellum fortress, diminutive of castrum fortified place; perhaps akin to Latin castrare to castrate

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Statistics for castle

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for castle

The first known use of castle was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for castle



English Language Learners Definition of castle

: a large building usually with high, thick walls and towers that was built in the past to protect against attack

: a large expensive house

: a piece in the game of chess that looks like a castle tower


cas·tle | \ˈka-səl \

Kids Definition of castle

1 : a large building or group of buildings usually having high walls with towers that was built in the past to protect against attack

2 : a large or impressive house

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Comments on castle

What made you want to look up castle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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