cren·​el·​lat·​ed ˈkre-nə-ˌlā-təd How to pronounce crenellated (audio)
variants or crenelated
: having crenellations
a crenellated wall

Examples of crenellated in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sturdy, crenellated fortress, a symbol of might and power, was commissioned by the King after his conquest of Wales. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, 28 Nov. 2019 The misty mountain ridges and the crenellated ramparts snaking along them as far as the eye could see were beautiful. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 14 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crenellated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from past participle of crenellate "to furnish with crenellations," borrowed (with -ate entry 3 replacing ) from French crenelé "having crenellations," going back to Old French quernelé, from crenel, quernel "crenellation" (from cren, cran "notch"—going back to Gallo-Romance *crēn- or *crĭn-, of uncertain origin— + -el, diminutive suffix) + -ee entry 1

Note: While French appears to have reflexes of a Romance masculine noun, a feminine noun is evident in Franco-Provençal, Sursilvan (Rhaeto-Romance dialect), and Upper Italian dialects. Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (2.2. pp. 1339-42) sees the noun as a derivative of a verb *crĭnare "to split," putatively from Gaulish; but the sole basis of this hypothesis is the Old Irish verb ara-chrin "(it) decays, fails, withers" (with an infixed neuter singular pronoun), the etymology of which is quite uncertain. If the base is *crin- "sift, shake, separate" (see Stefan Schumacher, Die Keltischen Primärverben, Innsbruck, 2004, pp. 420-22), there can be no connection with "split" or "notch." Pace Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, there is no verb crenare in the Reichenau Glosses.

First Known Use

circa 1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crenellated was circa 1823

Dictionary Entries Near crenellated

Cite this Entry

“Crenellated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants or crenelated
: having battlements
a crenellated tower
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