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

  • n. An elaborate inlay of tortoiseshell, ivory, and metal, used especially in decorating furniture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A particularly decorative piece of brass or other material, used as inlay in furniture or other works.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Decorative woodwork in which tortoise shell, yellow metal, white metal, etc., are inlaid, forming scrolls, cartouches, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A style of inlaid decoration in cabinet-work practised by Boule, a celebrated designer under Louis XIV.; also, the articles so decorated.

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

  • n. an inlaid furniture decoration; tortoiseshell and yellow and white metal form scrolls in cabinetwork


After André Charles Boulle or Buhl (1642-1732), French woodcarver.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
A pronunciation spelling of Boulle, a French woodcarver. (Wiktionary)


  • The inlaid plates of brass and rosewood, called buhl work, which ornament our furniture, are, in some instances, formed by punching; but in this case, both the parts cut out, and those which remain, are in many cases employed.

    On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures

  • Well, since they are calling for his impeachment I would argue that they ARE in fact alleging that he commited high crimes and/or misdemeanors: li ⋅ bel    /ˈlaɪbəl/Show Spelled Pronunciation [lahy-buhl] Show IPA noun, verb, - beled, - bel ⋅ ing or (especially British) - belled, - bel ⋅ ling.

    Think Progress » ‘Impeach Obama’ billboard ‘not meant to allege any impeachable offense.’

  • Through it all there is a feeling of stage properties, a smell of hair-oil, an aspect of buhl, a remembrance of tailors, and that pricking of the conscience which must be the general accompaniment of paste diamonds.

    An Autobiography

  • He looked up from a small, ornate escritoire of buhl, which Ellsworth had found somewhere, and where he was quietly tabulating a list of his resources and liabilities.

    The Financier

  • The hangings, wall-paper, and floor coverings were to harmonize — not match — and the piano and music-cabinet for the parlor, as well as the etagere, cabinets, and pedestals for the reception-rooms, were to be of buhl or marquetry, if Frank cared to stand the expense.

    The Financier

  • Adam Davis was present and secured the secretaire of buhl which the elder Cowperwood prized so highly.

    The Financier

  • Soames had gripped the back of a buhl chair; young Mont was behind that “awfully amusing” screen, which no one as yet had been able to explain to her.

    To Let

  • On my right hand and on my left, as I stood inside the door, were chiffoniers and little stands in buhl and marquetterie, loaded with figures in

    The Woman in White

  • The first objects of furniture in the room which attracted her attention were an old bureau of carved oak, and a heavy buhl table with a cabinet attached.

    No Name

  • She left it, and paused to trim the wick of the candle before she tried the buhl cabinet next.

    No Name

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  • "She submitted cheerfully to the purple satin and yellow tuftings of the Welland drawing-room, to its sham buhl tables and gilt vitrines full of modern Saxe."
    - Edith Wharton, 'The Age of Innocence'.

    September 19, 2009