from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An ornamental facing around a fireplace. Also called regionally mantelpiece.
- n. The protruding shelf over a fireplace. Also called mantelpiece, mantelshelf; also called regionally fireboard.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the shelf above a fireplace which may be also a structural support for the masonry of the chimney
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The finish around a fireplace, covering the chimney-breast in front and sometimes on both sides; especially, a shelf above the fireplace, and its supports. The shelf is called also a mantelpiece or mantlepiece.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. 1. A cloak. See mantle (the present spelling in this sense).
- n. In architecture, all the work or facing around a fireplace, resting against the chimney, and usually projecting and more or less ornamental.
- n. In a restricted sense, a mantel-shelf.
- n. In geometry, lateral surface: as, the mantel of a frustum.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. shelf that projects from wall above fireplace
Middle English mantel, as in mantiltre, beam over fireplace opening (perhaps from its use for drying wet clothing); see manteltree.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English mentel ("sleeveless cloak"), later reinforced by cognate Anglo-Norman mantel, both from Latin mantēllum ("covering, cloak"), diminutive of mantum, likely from Gaulish. (Wiktionary)