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illustration Motte



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, 19th century


A mound or hill, often with a castle on top


A grove of trees

Examples of Motte in a sentence

"We climbed to the top of the motte to see the castle ruins and get a better view of the landscape."

"She built her home near a small motte, which provided shade in the afternoons."

About Motte

In 10th century England, motte-and-bailey castles were common. They featured a tower or castle constructed atop an artificial hill (the motte), with a courtyard (the bailey) surrounded by a high wall for fortification and defense.

Did you Know?

Motte comes from the Old French word meaning, you guessed it, "mound." The "grove of trees" definition, however, is primarily used in the American Southwest and has Spanish influences.

illustration Motte

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