In architecture, a turret (from Italian: "torretta", little tower; Latin: "turris", tower) is a small tower that projects vertically from the wall of a building such as a medieval castle. Turrets were used to provide a projecting defensive position allowing covering fire to the adjacent wall in the days of military fortification. As their military use faded, turrets were adopted for decorative purposes, as in the Scottish baronial style.

A turret can have a circular top with crenellations as in the picture at right, a pointed roof, or other kind of apex. It might contain a staircase if it projects higher than the building; however, a turret is not necessarily higher than the rest of the building; in this case, it is typically part of a room, that can be simply walked into – see the turret of Chateau de Chaumont on this [http://www.ontarioarchitecture.com/turret.htm collection of turrets] , which also illustrates a turret on a modern skyscraper.

A building may have both towers and turrets; turrets might be smaller or higher but the difference is generally considered to be that a turret projects from the edge of the building, rather than continuing to the ground. The size of a turret is therefore limited by technology, since it puts additional stresses on the structure of the building. It would traditionally be supported by a corbel.

ee also

* "Yagura", a Japanese type of turret
* Fortification


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Turret — Tur ret, n. [OE. touret, OF. tourette, dim. of tour a tower, L. turris. See {Tower}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Arch.) A little tower, frequently a merely ornamental structure at one of the angles of a larger structure. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anc. Mil.) A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turret — c.1300, small tower, from O.Fr. touret (12c.), dim. of tour tower, from L. turris (see TOWER (Cf. tower)). Meaning low, flat gun tower on a warship is recorded from 1862, later also of tanks. Related: Turreted …   Etymology dictionary

  • turret — has an adjectival form turreted (one t) …   Modern English usage

  • turret — ► NOUN 1) a small tower at the corner of a building or wall, especially of a castle. 2) an armoured, usually revolving tower for a gun and gunners in a ship, aircraft, fort, or tank. 3) a rotating holder for tools, especially on a lathe.… …   English terms dictionary

  • turret — [tʉr′ithed΄tʉr′it, toor′it] n. [ME turet < OFr tourete, dim. of tour: see TOWER1] 1. a small tower projecting from a building, usually at a corner and often merely ornamental 2. a wooden, usually square tower on wheels, carrying soldiers,… …   English World dictionary

  • turret — [[t]tʌ̱rɪt, AM tɜ͟ːr [/t]] turrets 1) N COUNT A turret is a small narrow tower on top of a building or a larger tower. 2) N COUNT: oft n N The turret on a tank or warship is the part where the guns are fixed, which can be turned in any direction …   English dictionary

  • turret — UK [ˈtʌrɪt] / US [ˈtʌrət] noun [countable] Word forms turret : singular turret plural turrets 1) a small tower on the top of a building such as a castle 2) a high part on a military ship or vehicle where guns are fixed. You can turn it in order… …   English dictionary

  • turret — Turrethead Tur ret*head an attachment fitted to a lathe or other machinery which holds a variety of tools which can act on the object being worked, and which are interchangeable by a pivoting motion, thus allowing efficient performance of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turret — noun Turret is used after these nouns: ↑gun …   Collocations dictionary

  • turret — /ˈtʌrət / (say turuht) noun 1. a small tower, usually one forming part of a larger structure. 2. a small tower at an angle of a building, frequently beginning some distance above the ground. 3. Also, turrethead. a pivoted attachment on a lathe,… …   Australian English dictionary

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