1. a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval castle
; has openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Machicolation \Mach`i*co*la"tion\, n. [Cf. LL. machicolamentum,
machacolladura, F. m[^a]chicolis, m[^a]checoulis; perh. fr.
F. m[`e]che match, combustible matter + OF. coulis, couleis,
flowing, fr. OF. & F. couler to flow. Cf. Match for making
fire, and Cullis.]
1. (Mil. Arch.) An opening between the corbels which support
a projecting parapet, or in the floor of a gallery or the
roof of a portal, for shooting or dropping missiles upon
assailants attacking the base of the walls. Also, the
construction of such defenses, in general, when of this
character. See Illusts. of Battlement and Castle.
2. The act of discharging missiles or pouring burning or
melted substances upon assailants through such apertures.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a projecting parapet supported by corbels on a medieval
castle; has openings through which stones or boiling water
could be dropped on an enemy