Martello-tower definition

mär-tĕlō
A short, circular tower, usually made of stone and located near a shoreline as a defensive fortification.
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Any of the circular forts of masonry built in the 19th cent. by the British on coasts to protect against invaders.
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A short sturdy round masonry fort, especially one constructed at various coastal points in the British Empire during the Napoleonic Wars.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
martello-tower
Plural:
martello-towers

Origin of martello-tower

  • After Cape Martello , Corsica, where such a tower was taken by British forces in 1794

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Alteration of the name of Cape Mortella in Corsica, after Italian martello (“hammer").

    From Wiktionary