cas·​tle | \ ˈka-səl How to pronounce castle (audio) \

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 How to pronounce castle (audio) \

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

Noun Millionaires built their castles along the lake. the implacable attackers placed the castle under a prolonged siege
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Every spring, this castle serves as the site of the annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival, which takes place each weekend of May. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "Inside the Castle Where Taylor Swift's "Love Story" Music Video Was Filmed," 11 Feb. 2021 The monkeys hadn’t built anything that looked like architecture, not even a sand castle. Maciek Pożoga, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Japan’s Wild Snow Monkeys Can Teach Us About Animal Culture," 5 Jan. 2021 Colditz Castle, a Renaissance-style castle turned WWII prison located in the Saxony region of Germany, contained one of those key fights. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "In 1944, U.S. POWs Got the Best X-Mas Gift of All—An Escape Map," 24 Dec. 2020 Old shots of the castle look … drab to me these days. Dewayne Bevil,, "New attractions, approaches forced changes in theme parks in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 Her precious body was guarded from that moment onward, moved like a pawn on a chessboard from one castle to another. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "‘Hue’s Hue’: Katy Kelleher’s Column on Color," 19 Dec. 2020 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will spend Christmas in Windsor instead—luckily, the castle is decorated to the nines. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "Prince William and Kate Middleton's Family Christmas Card Is Here," 16 Dec. 2020 For the castle event, Kate wore a dark green coat with a black fur collar. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Queen Elizabeth, top royals gather for Salvation Army Christmas event outdoors at Windsor Castle," 8 Dec. 2020 As Town & Country noted, the pièce de résistance is the castle’s gorgeous Christmas tree — a 20-foot Norway spruce that was sourced right from Windsor Great Park. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "These Are the Queen’s Royal Christmas Decorations at Windsor Castle," 7 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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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Time Traveler for castle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for castle

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Castle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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
informal : a large expensive house
: a piece in the game of chess that looks like a castle tower


cas·​tle | \ ˈka-səl How to pronounce castle (audio) \

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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