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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Embrasure \Em*bra"sure\ (?; 135), n. [See Embrace.] An embrace. [Obs.] ``Our locked embrasures.''


Embrasure \Em*bra"sure\ (277), n. [F., fr. embraser, perh. equiv. to ['e]braser to widen an opening; of unknown origin.]

  1. (Arch.) A splay of a door or window.

    Apart, in the twilight gloom of a window's embrasure, Sat the lovers.

  2. (Fort.) An aperture with slant sides in a wall or parapet, through which cannon are pointed and discharged; a crenelle. See Illust. of Casemate.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"enlargement of the interior aperture of a door or window," 1702, from French embrasure (16c.), from Old French embraser "to cut at a slant, make a groove or furrow in a door or window," from assimilated form of en- "in" (see en- (1)) + braser "to cut at a slant."


n. 1 (context architecture military English) Any of the indentations between the merlons of a battlement. 2 The slanting indentation in a wall for a door or window, such that the space is larger on the inside than the outside. 3 (context obsolete English) An embrace.


n. an opening (in a wall or ship or armored vehicle) for firing through [syn: port, porthole]


In military architecture, an embrasure is the opening in a crenellation or battlement between the two raised solid portions or merlons, sometimes called a crenel or crenelle. In domestic architecture this refers to the outward splay of a window or arrow slit on the inside.

A loophole, arrow loop or arrowslit passes through a solid wall and was originally for use by archers. The purpose of embrasures is to allow weapons to be fired out from the fortification while the firer remains under cover. The splay of the wall on the inside provides room for the soldier and his equipment, and allows them to get as close to the wall face and arrow slit itself as possible. Excellent examples of deep embrasures with arrow slits are to be seen at Aigues-Mortes and Château de Coucy, both in France.

Embrasure (dentistry)

In dentistry, embrasures are V-shaped valleys between adjacent teeth. They provide a spill way for food to escape during chewing which essentially aids in the self-cleansing process. They also prevent food from being forced through the contact area which might cause food packing and periodontal pain.

Usage examples of "embrasure".

Palewski wondered briefly whether sunlight had penetrated to this spot at all in the past fifteen hundred years: the sunken doorcase, he had long suspected, was early Byzantine work, and he had no reason to imagine that the dark wooden handrail, to which he was now clinging as he swung blindly but unfalteringly upstairs, was anything but Byzantine itself, like the stone of the house, and the window embrasures, and the very probably Roman vaulting overhead.

She rose from her chair and went to the lectern placed to catch the daylight from the embrasured window.

They strolled out casually together into the next chamber, and Cazaril led Palli to a window embrasure that overlooked a moonlit courtyard.

From deep embrasures admitting shafts of sunlight or little areas of stars, the solar looked down upon the embankment of the Seine, whence ascended by day the cries of boatmen and by night the songs of students turning in from their pothouse congregations to the hostels provided in the quarter by the bounty of the king.

Gewgaws and rickrack ornamented the facade, which included complicated turrets and window embrasures.

He gestured with a long arm to the roofless buildings, the tower whose every open floor and window embrasure, like the cliff behind it, sported its own pendant garden of fern, spider plant, Wookiee-beard, and sweetberry vine.

LISLE are visible in backlit silhouette, and an EMBRASURE of sad windowlight shines through her legs.

A moment later, light threw shadows on the embrasure as the nurse lit the candle, and Agnes calmly instructed a page to set down the fresh tray before fetching Marta to straighten the mess.

The French officer suddenly jerked, as though waking to find a nightmare real, and shouted at his men to forsake their cannons and snatch their carbines from racks beside the embrasures.

To one of the merlons, a jutting stone stub between two embrasures, a stripped pine trunk was lashed tight.

Sharpe, who had been sitting in one of the embrasures that faced the channel, looked up.

Once in place, hidden close to the fortress, a Forlorn Hope would charge across the masonry bridge of the dam, put ladders to the closest embrasures, and climb.

Riflemen, sent by Frederickson on to the western rampart, cleared the water bastion and, leaning in its cannon embrasures, enfiladed the ladders.

Most men, their weapons cleaned, just sat by the embrasures and stared into empty air.

Sharpe waited, standing in one of the embrasures with his sword drawn.