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 castling (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 Most titles came with a grand estate: a castle, tenant farms, perhaps a summer house or two. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Earldoms for Girldom," 14 Nov. 2020 The big moment took place at Disney World surrounded by family and friends in front of none other than Magic Kingdom’s iconic castle. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, "Jimmie Allen Says the Way His Fiancée Alexis Gale Loves Him Is "Unlike" Anything He's Experienced Before," 12 Nov. 2020 The estate, which includes a 19th century castle, has belonged to the Burrell family for over 200 years. Hazel Pfeifer, CNN, "This British farm went from a 'biological desert' to biodiversity hotspot by letting the animals take charge," 1 Oct. 2020 The University of Cincinnati Bearcats football team is climbing the transoms and threatening to burn down the blue-blood castle. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Paul Daugherty: College Football doesn't want the UC Bearcats of the world in its Playoff," 11 Nov. 2020 The images are not as actively animated as some previous castle projections, which might feature dancing characters, swirling graphics or a rocket blasting up through a turret. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney: New castle projections, other changes are holiday eye-catchers," 11 Nov. 2020 But like a man building a sand castle against a rising tide, Satterfield understood that he might be overwhelmed at any moment. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville football had prepared for this eventuality. Still, COVID-19 had other plans," 5 Nov. 2020 In this cult classic, based on a 1973 stage production of the same name, a young couple’s car breaks down on a rainy night near an imposing castle. Vogue, "After You Vote, Escape the Madness of the Election With These Ridiculously Fantastic Films," 3 Nov. 2020 We are often told that working from the inside can be even more effective than throwing useless barbs from outside the castle gates. Yussef Cole, Wired, "Star Wars: Squadrons Explores the Changing Face of Fascism," 3 Nov. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Castle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for castle


How to pronounce castle (audio)

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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Comments on castle

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