Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A squared block of building stone.
  • n. Masonry of such stones.
  • n. A thin, dressed rectangle of stone for facing walls.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large cuboid stone; masonry making use of such stone blocks.
  • n. A hurling stone used in warfare.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. Hewn or squared stone; also, masonry made of squared or hewn stone.
  • n. In the United States especially, a thin facing of squared and dressed stone upon a wall of rubble or brick.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See ashler.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rectangular block of hewn stone used for building purposes

Etymologies

Middle English assheler, from Old French aisselier, board, from aissele, from Medieval Latin axicellus, from Latin assis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French aisselier, from Latin axilla, diminutive of axis ("board, plank"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • So he abode in prison, and when they brought out the prisoners, to cut ashlar from the quarries they took Sa’id with them, and he wrought with the rest.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • In early times the walls were very much thicker, composed of hewn stone, making a kind of casing at each side, called ashlar, the interval being filled with rubble masonry cemented with lime and loam.

    Bell’s Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Hereford, A Description Of Its Fabric And A Brief History Of The Episcopal See

  • Finally, still other portions of this same Mycenaean wall show on the outside a near approach to what is called ashlar masonry, in which the blocks are rectangular and laid in even horizontal courses.

    A History of Greek Art

  • Scrutinize those buildings, touch those surfaces and you'll discover a disconcerting number of restored façades, reassembled colonnades and a positive glorying in what the Italians call "feigned" materials: simulated marble, cleverly disguised concrete and a cunning assortment of ashlar, or thin stone slabs applied to resemble weighty blocks.

    The Heirloom City

  • Rayon Richards for The Wall Street Journal The Niven House has stucco exterior scored to resemble ashlar block and a marble, checkerboard-patterned porch, which is original to the home.

    Tuscany on the Hudson

  • The Niven House has stucco exterior scored to resemble ashlar block and a marble, checkerboard-patterned porch, which is original to the home.

    A Touch of Tuscany Revived in Newburgh

  • As he ate his solitary picnic, Dalgliesh found his eyes constantly drawn to those stark embattled slabs of mutilated ashlar silhouetted high against the gentle sky.

    She Closed Her Eyes

  • Stepping warily among the fallen ashlar and rubble from the filling of the wall, he found the folded cloak wedged into a gap in the stonework, where Olivier had thrust it the moment before he slipped out into the night among the besiegers.

    A River So Long

  • Invisible under those walls, the marks of the masons 'lodges and the scars of their stored stone and timber still remained, and a pile of stacked ashlar where the bankers had been cleared away.

    A River So Long

  • Nevertheless, after Mass next morning, when the builders had again uncovered their stores to make use of one more working day, he remembered the porter's description of Master Bernard as a local man, and thought it worth the trial to unroll his drawings upon the stacked ashlar and call the mason to study them and give judgement.

    A River So Long

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • From somewhere I have an impression of this word referring to dressed stone that is left undressed on the surface that’s going to show. If that’s true, it would be the only single-word description of that rather common style. The definition of “ashler” hints at this property but neither it nor “ashlar” spell it out.

    September 22, 2009

  • "From the property angle, the deal is a good one, the area is decent, the façade is of ashlar, the staircase is OK despite the agedness of the lift, and the woman is now coming to inspect in greater detail the condition of the flat itself, to draw up a more detailed plan of the accommodation with, for instance, thicker lines to distinguish structural walls from partitions and arrowheaded semicircles to show which way the doors open, and to decide on the work needed, to make a preliminary costing for the complete refurbishment: the partition wall between the toilet and the boxroom to be knocked down, allowing the installation of a bathroom with a slipper-bath and WC; the kitchen tiles to be renewed; a wall-mounted gas-fired boiler (giving both central heating and hot water) to replace the old coal-fired boiler; the woodblock floor with its zigzag moulding to be lifted and replaced by a layer of cement, a felt underlay, and a fitted carpet."
    -- Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec, translated by David Bellos, p 5

    June 1, 2008