port cullis

portcullis

[pawrt-kuhl-is, pohrt-]
noun
(especially in medieval castles) a strong grating, as of iron, made to slide along vertical grooves at the sides of a gateway of a fortified place and let down to prevent passage.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English portecolys < Middle French porte coleice, equivalent to porte port4 + coleice, feminine of coleis flowing, sliding < Vulgar Latin *cōlātīcius; see coulee, -itious

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World English Dictionary
portcullis (pɔːtˈkʌlɪs)
 
n
an iron or wooden grating suspended vertically in grooves in the gateway of a castle or fortified town and able to be lowered so as to bar the entrance
 
[C14 port colice, from Old French porte coleïce sliding gate, from porte door, entrance + coleïce, from couler to slide, flow, from Late Latin cōlāre to filter]

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Word Origin & History

portcullis
c.1300, from O.Fr. porte coleice "sliding gate" (c.1200), from porte "gate" (see port (2)) + coleice "sliding, flowing," fem. of coleis, from L. colatus, pp. of colare "to filter, strain."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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