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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?

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up vote 8 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.

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