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[tur-it, tuhr-] /ˈtɜr ɪt, ˈtʌr-/
a small tower, usually one forming part of a larger structure.
a small tower at an angle of a building, as of a castle or fortress, frequently beginning some distance above the ground.
Also called turrethead
[tur-it-hed, tuhr-] /ˈtɜr ɪtˌhɛd, ˈtʌr-/ (Show IPA)
. a pivoted attachment on a lathe or the like for holding a number of tools, each of which can be presented to the work in rapid succession by a simple rotating movement.
Military. a domelike, sometimes heavily armored structure, usually revolving horizontally, within which guns are mounted, as on a fortification, ship, or aircraft.
Fortification. a tall structure, usually moved on wheels, formerly employed in breaching or scaling a fortified place, a wall, or the like.
1300-50; Middle English turet < Middle French turete, equivalent to tur tower + -ete -et
Related forms
turretless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for turrets
  • The same goes for turrets, which are also reset after each round.
  • The setbacks between the stages of the turrets are detailed as weatherings similar to masonry buttresses.
  • Two turrets at the northwestern corner and southwestern corner frame the west elevation.
  • These turrets are virtually identical and feature dovecotes with weathervanes and fixed windows.
  • Buildings in this style often looked streamlined and avoided protrusions from the building, such as towers or turrets.
  • They have rooflines which are frequently accented with turrets, towers, pedimented gables and iron cresting.
  • At night, winter flounder lie flat with their eye turrets retracted until sunrise.
  • Artists who live in one residential building have built sandbag turrets around the drainage holes in their parking lot.
  • These ships had raised turrets and a heavier superstructure on a platform above the hull.
British Dictionary definitions for turrets


a small tower that projects from the wall of a building, esp a medieval castle
  1. a self-contained structure, capable of rotation, in which weapons are mounted, esp in tanks and warships
  2. a similar structure on an aircraft that houses one or more guns and sometimes a gunner
a tall wooden tower on wheels used formerly by besiegers to scale the walls of a fortress
(on a machine tool) a turret-like steel structure with tools projecting radially that can be indexed round to select or to bring each tool to bear on the work
Word Origin
C14: from Old French torete, from tor tower, from Latin turris
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for turrets



c.1300, "small tower," from Old French touret (12c.), diminutive of tour "tower," from Latin turris (see tower). Meaning "low, flat gun-tower on a warship" is recorded from 1862, later also of tanks. Related: Turreted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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