American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A vertical support at the center of a circular staircase.
- n. A post that supports a handrail at the bottom or at the landing of a staircase.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In architecture, an upright cylinder or pillar which forms a center from which the steps of a winding stair radiate, and supports their inner ends from the bottom to the top. In stairs where the steps are merely pinned into the wall by their outer ends, and there is no central pillar, the staircase is said to have an open newel. The newel is sometimes continued through to the roof, so as to serve as a central shaft for receiving the ribs of the covering vault.
- n. In carpentry, the tall and more or less ornamental post at the head or foot of a stair, supporting a handrail.
- n. In engineering, a cylindrical pillar terminating the wing-wall of a bridge.
- n. In a ship, an upright timber which receives the tenons of the rails leading from the breastwork of the gangway.
- n. A new thing; a novelty.
- n. obsolete A novelty; a new thing.
- n. architecture A central pillar around which a staircase spirals.
- n. architecture A sturdy pillar at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs, supporting the handrail.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A novelty; a new thing.
- n. (Arch.) The upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind; hence, in stairs having straight flights, the principal post at the foot of a staircase, or the secondary ones at the landings. Also called newel post. See Hollow newel, under hollow.
- n. the central pillar of a circular staircase
- n. the post at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs; it supports the handrail
- From new + -el, modelled after novel ("new, original"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English nouel, niewel, from Old French noiel, from Vulgar Latin *nōdellus, little knot, diminutive of Latin nōdulus, diminutive of nōdus, knot; see node. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“By means of the newel-post I drew myself upright and listened.”
“I missed a frantic clutch at the newel-post, flung up my arm in time to save my face, and, most fortunately, whirled half about, and, still falling, impacted with my shoulder muscle-pad on Captain West's door.”
“Taking advantage of favouring spells, I managed to effect my exit and gain the newel-post ere the next series of rolls came.”
“A bar in the lobby is made from balusters, newel posts and door transoms from the original tenement staircase.”
“She raced past the library, nearly stumbling as she grabbed hold of the newel post at the base of another flight of stairs.”
“He reached the stairs and put his hand on the oak newel and took one step after another.”
“We live in a time when a Jewish person's Facebook profile identifies her religion as "Recon-newel-ortho-conserva-form.”
“An antique newel with a carving of a mother and child adorns the staircase leading up to the library.”
“Carlton Hobbs Best of English and continental, carltonhobbs.com James Sansum Curated continental, jamessansum.com Cove Landing Poetically assembled 18th- and 19th-century English and continental, 212-288-7597 Dalva Brothers 18th-century French, dalvabrothers.com HM Luther Clean, sophisticated Neoclassic, hmluther.com Newel Large collection of 17th-20th century, newel.com In Chicago:”
“She did not notice the shadow of the stranger as he came slowly down the stairs and paused by the newel post, dark and silent.”
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