motte and bailey

noun

Definition of motte and bailey 

: a medieval Norman castle consisting of two connecting ditched stockaded mounds with the higher mound surmounted by the keep and the lower one containing barracks and other buildings

First Known Use of motte and bailey

1900, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about motte and bailey

Share motte and bailey

Dictionary Entries near motte and bailey

Motozintlec

Mott

motte

motte and bailey

Mottelson

mottetto

mottle

Statistics for motte and bailey

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for motte and bailey

The first known use of motte and bailey was in 1900

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on motte and bailey

See words that rhyme with motte and bailey

Comments on motte and bailey

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!