tur·ret / ˈtərit/ • n. 1. a small tower on top of a larger tower or at the corner of a building or wall, typically of a castle. ∎ a low, flat armored tower, typically one that revolves, for a gun and gunners in a ship, aircraft, fort, or tank. ∎ a rotating holder for tools, esp. on a lathe. 2. (also turret shell) a mollusk (Turitella and other genera, family Turitellidae) with a long, slender, pointed spiral shell, typically brightly colored and living in tropical seas. DERIVATIVES: tur·ret·ed adj. ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old French tourete, diminutive of tour ‘tower.’
1. Small or subordinate tower normally forming part of a larger structure, especially a rounded addition to the angle of a building, sometimes commencing on corbels at some height from the ground, and usually containing a spiral stair.
2. Round tower of great height in proportion to its diameter.
3. Small circular tower on the top of a large tower, often at the corners, called tourelle, usually with a conical or domical roof, so known as a pepper-pot turret. Such subsidiary turrets are found in crenellated and Scottish Baronial architecture, and may also be capped by spires, pinnacles, or ogee-headed tops.
W. Papworth (1892)