One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An outer fortification, especially one belonging to a city or castle; a barbican.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Andrew Willet (d. 1621), Church of England clergyman and religious controversialist. From post-classical Latin antemurale bulwark, fortification (Vulgate) from classical Latin ante- + mūrus wall + -āle.
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