Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've long been familiar with crenulated edges, but until today I wasn't aware of crenelated. Looking at the definitions, they seem to describe the same kind of feature, that of notches on an edge that are more rounded in contrast to, say, serrated.

What are the differences in nuances? When would be a "wrong" time to use one over the other?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Crenulate is apparently the diminutive of crenelate, so you should use crenulated for small things and crenelated for large things. The distinction between large and small is somewhat relative, but for instance leaves are crenulated, battlements are crenelated.

I have generally heard "crenulated" for living things and "crenelated" for inanimate things, but that may be because architectural features are large, and leaf and wing margins are small.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.