Chiefly with reference to Greek and Roman architecture: a method of building or type of masonry consisting of a double external wall of close-fitting stonework or brickwork, with a core of rubble and mortar or rubble and clay, sometimes also incorporating cross walls or blocks used for reinforcement and to bind the faces together. Also: the infill of such a wall. Frequently attributive, as "emplecton technique", "emplecton work", etc.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Philemon Holland (1552–1637), translator. From classical Latin emplecton, type of masonry (Pliny) from Hellenistic Greek ἔμπλεκτον, type of masonry (attested as a Greek word in the classical Latin author Vitruvius), use as noun of ἔμπλεκτος inwoven from ἐμ-, variant (before a labial) of ἐν- + πλεκτός plaited, twisted, after ἐμπλέκειν to plait or weave, entwine.