One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An opening in a wall or parapet which is bevelled or splayed out on the inside, typically one around a window or door.
- ‘A wet shot is unignited fuel squirted through a window or embrasure; a dry one is burning fuel.’
- ‘It's got weapon embrasures on it, and it's made of white marble.’
- ‘High fortress walls with embrasures surrounded the town.’
- ‘The other bank of the stream was open ground - a gentle slope topped with a stockade of vertical tree trunks, loopholed for rifles, with a single embrasure through which protruded the muzzle of a brass cannon commanding the bridge.’
- ‘I propped the M16 on a sandbag in the embrasure in front of me and squinted through the scope.’
- ‘He endorsed the construction of works with high stone or brick walls, the guns arranged in multilevel tiers of internal chambers called casemates, and firing done through iron-shuttered embrasures piercing the facade.’
- ‘Six steps, alternately black and white, vertically elongated, extend up into the sky, the upper surfaces broken by slits that suggest embrasures.’
- ‘Then if each embrasure is exactly eleven bricks wide and each pier is exactly four bricks wide, these give dimensions very close to those obtained in the reconstructions.’
- ‘A young woman sat in an embrasure on one of the highest parapets overlooking the moat of the castle.’
- ‘Guns usually stood on a flat terreplein, shooting over a wide earth parapet which was intended to absorb incoming fire, although they might also fire through splayed embrasures, or be housed in vaulted casemates on a lower storey.’
- ‘The enemy can be further confused if fake embrasures are painted onto walls using black paint, and if unoccupied buildings are made to look as if they have been prepared for defence.’
- ‘The British navy's first iron steamer, the Nemesis, drawing only six feet of water, went in beneath the angle of depression of the Chinese battery's guns and poured grape and canister straight through the embrasures.’
- ‘Abruptly he stops and slaps his hand against one of the mossy embrasures - the gaps in the turreted wall through which medieval archers would have shot at attacking armies.’
- ‘As estimated by the staff of the Joint Force, around two-thirds of losses were inflicted by snipers operating within such parties, who would fire from embrasures in basement walls, top-story windows and roofs.’
Early 18th century: from French, from obsolete embraser (earlier form of ébraser) ‘widen a door or window opening’, of unknown ultimate origin.
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