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

Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize in the Forbidden Forrest and trouble begins [to] brew within the castle walls. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Leaked Footage Reveals Rumored “Harry Potter” Video Game," 2 Oct. 2018 Mike De Sisti, Mike De Sisti PRAGUE - The castle walls in this city will soon echo with the sound of thousands of Harley-Davidson motorcycles rolling through the narrow cobblestone streets. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Castles and bikes: Harley riders from around the world roll into Prague," 5 July 2018 Dozens of broadcasters set up on the castle grounds for a visual feast., "Royal wedding guests pour into Windsor Castle ahead of nuptials watched 'round the world," 19 May 2018 The couple also invited 2,640 members of the public — including local children and people who have shown leadership or served the community in some way — to spend the day in the castle grounds. NBC News, "Royal wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry to wed in Windsor," 19 May 2018 But, unlike in past royal weddings, no political leaders will attend, and about 1,200 members of the public have been invited by the royal couple to view the wedding from within the castle grounds. Jenny Gross, WSJ, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Isn’t Just a Modern Love Story. It Marks a More Modern Monarchy," 16 May 2018 The couple and guests will later attend a reception hosted by the Queen at St. George's Hall in the castle grounds, bringing the public aspects of the day to a close. Ray Sanchez And James Gray, CNN, "Buckingham Palace shares image of Queen's official consent for Prince Harry's marriage," 12 May 2018 Once back on castle grounds, there will be two celebrations. CBS News, "The royal wedding: The big day and beyond," 21 Apr. 2018 Also invited into the castle grounds are 200 people from charities and organizations close to Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, including those which Prince Harry serves as Patron. Lauren Porter,, "Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Extend Wedding Invite To The Public," 2 Mar. 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

13 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on castle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with castle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for castle

Spanish Central: Translation of castle

Nglish: Translation of castle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of castle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about castle

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).


living or existing for a long time

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