Definitions

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

  • n. An upright frame for displaying or supporting something, such as an artist's canvas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An upright frame, typically on three legs, for displaying or supporting something, such as an artist’s canvas.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A frame (commonly) of wood serving to hold a canvas upright, or nearly upright, for the painter's convenience or for exhibition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Eastward.
  • n. A frame in the form of a tripod for supporting a blackboard, paper, or canvas in drawing and painting; also, a similar frame used as a rest for portfolios, large books, etc.
  • n. A picture small enough to be placed on an easel for exhibition after completion.

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

  • n. an upright tripod for displaying something (usually an artist's canvas)

Etymologies

Dutch ezel, ass, from Middle Dutch esel, from Latin asellus, diminutive of asinus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1596, from Dutch ezel ("easel"), originally  ("donkey"), from Middle Dutch esel ("donkey"), from Latin asinus ("donkey"); from the comparison of a donkey carrying a burden and putting a painting on a wooden stand. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • We freely admit that we take inspiration in easel mode from the metaphor of the TV and agree that people need a web appliance but by the same token we are still a webbook and work like one in laptop mode.

    The death of the URL | FactoryCity

  • It converts from laptop mode, into what litl calls easel mode.

    Stephanie Vaughn Hapke: REVIEW: litl webbook

  • A lot of artists leave their creativity at the easel, which is not a good way to sell paintings.

    May 2007

  • Los Angeles To conservator Sue Ann Chui at the Getty Museum, the 518-year-old wooden panel painting on her easel is a study in the subtle science of art.

    As Art Ages, So Do the Skills to Preserve It

  • On an easel was a large painting of a street scene in Mexico, with dark-haired women in flowing skirts, children playing, and flower vendors with their carts.

    Semiprecious

  • On her easel is the Amish girl being hit by the car.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • On the easel was a wild abstract in crude bright colours, bearing no visible relation at all to the scene in the harbour before them; it was unexpected, compared to the neat, anaemic little water-colours that nineteen out of twenty Trewissick harbour-painters produced.

    Greenwitch

  • Behind the easel was a small wooden sideboard covered by a handmade afghan.

    206 BONES

  • Next to the easel was a small table, on which stood a box full of tubes of paint.

    Maigret and the Apparition

  • On his easel was a painting of the required size, representing Louis XV. at

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 1, July, 1862

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