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portcullis

[pawrt-kuhl-is, pohrt-] /pɔrtˈkʌl ɪs, poʊrt-/
noun
1.
(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
1300-1350
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for portcullis
  • In the biographer's ears rang the sound of the portcullis crashing down.
  • Olga's door is a retrofitted portcullis of makeshift armor plate.
British Dictionary definitions for portcullis

portcullis

/pɔːtˈkʌlɪs/
noun
1.
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
Word Origin
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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for portcullis
n.

also port-cullis, c.1300, from Old French porte coleice "sliding gate" (c.1200, Modern French porte à coulisse), from porte "gate" (see port (n.2)) + coleice "sliding, flowing," fem. of coleis, from Latin colatus, past participle of colare "to filter, strain" (see colander).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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