American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
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. It includes the mantelpiece or chimneypiece, with the mantel-shelf, when this is present, and the hood of fireplaces having this feature.
- n. In a restricted sense, a mantel-shelf.
- n. In geometry, lateral surface: as, the mantel of a frustum.
- n. the shelf above a fireplace which may be also a structural support for the masonry of the chimney
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Arch.) 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
- n. shelf that projects from wall above fireplace
- 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)
- 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)
“The bookshelves are packed with stuffed animals and books, and the mantel is lined with photographs of the children who live here.”
“Mantel: The fireplace mantel is a very prominent location for displaying your village, as long as your collection is not too extensive and would force the overcrowding of your favorite pieces in to what can be a narrow and overall restricted space.”
“The border of the Virgin's mantel is carved to resemble brocade and painted gold, while the inside has been painted red.”
“A Gold Glove on his mantel is proof he can field as well as hit.”
“The exquisite white marble mantel is Italian, not French, of the time of Louis XVI.”
“In the centre of the mantel was a stuffed bird-of-paradise, while about the room were scattered gorgeous shells from the southern seas, delicate sprays of coral sprouting from barnacled pi-pi shells and cased in glass, assegais from South Africa, stone axes from New Guinea, huge”
“Prominently placed on the mantel were his Emmy awards along with his favorite photographs of our children.”
“Over the mantel is a huge lump of white coral rock and several big fossil bones, and above that hangs the portrait of a brainy gentleman, sliced in half and displaying an interior of intricate detail and much vigour of coloring.”
“But what Cork saw in the painting above the mantel was a woman who looked down on him, and her hinted smile could easily have been one of contempt.”
“A stone fireplace faced the door, and on the mantel was a cluster of silver frames with photographs.”
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