Definitions

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

  • n. A curved form, especially a semicircular panel, window, or recess.
  • n. A rondel.
  • n. A rondeau.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Anything having a round form; a round figure; a circle.
  • n. A roundelay or rondelay.
  • n. A small circular shield, sometimes not more than a foot in diameter, used by soldiers in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
  • n. A circular spot; a charge in the form of a small coloured circle.
  • n. a circular insignia painted on an aircraft to identify its nationality or service.
  • n. A bastion of a circular form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rondelay.
  • n. Anything having a round form; a round figure; a circle.
  • n. A small circular shield, sometimes not more than a foot in diameter, used by soldiers in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
  • n. A circular spot; a sharge in the form of a small circle.
  • n. A bastion of a circular form.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anything round; a round form or figure; a circle, or something of circular form.
  • n. Specifically— In heraldry, a circular figure used as a bearing, and commonly blazoned, not roundel, but by a special name according to the tincture. Also roundle, roundlet.
  • n. In medieval armor: A round shield made of osiers, wood, sinews, or ropes covered with leather, or plates of metal, or stuck full of nails in concentric circles or other figures: sometimes made wholly of metal, and generally convex, but sometimes concave, and both with and without the umbo or boss. A piece of metal of circular or nearly circular form. A very small plate sewed or riveted to cloth or leather as part of a coat of fence. (β) A larger plate, used to protect the body at the défaut de la cuirasse, where that on the left side was fixed, that on the right side movable to allow of the couching of the lance, and at the knee-joint, usually one on each side, covering the articulation. Also called disk.
  • n. In fortification, a bastion of a semicircular form, introduced by Albert Dürer. It was about 300 feet in diameter, and contained roomy casemates for troops.
  • n. In architecture, a molding of semicircular profile.
  • n. A fruit-trencher of circular form.
  • n. A dance in which the dancers form a ring or circle. Also called round.
  • n. Same as rondel: specifically applied by Swinburne to a form apparently invented by himself.
  • n. In the fine arts, a composition or design contained within a circle, a type much favored by the painters and sculptor's of the quattrocento in Italy: found also in excavations at Cnosus in Crete; also a wooden platter painted. See tondo.

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

  • n. (heraldry) a charge in the shape of a circle
  • n. round piece of armor plate that protects the armpit
  • n. English form of rondeau having three triplets with a refrain after the first and third

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French rondel, diminutive of rond, circle, round; see round1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French rondelet, diminutive of Old French rondel, (French: rondeau. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Another piece of information I dug out as I was reading about the roundel is that it was traditionally used by officers of arms and the military to signify nationality.

    The roundel « One Size Fits One

  • Above the two in the roundel is another Saint Michael bravely slaying a fire-breathing dragon.

    The Wayward Muse

  • Two new ones are the hex and pentagon, while the circle (once called a roundel, bezant, plate, torteau, hurt, etc., depending on its color) is simply called a circle with the correct color named.

    Concordance A Terran Empire concordance

  • When the fairies sing a song, they add pleasing variety to the play's ample store of lyric forms: for their 'roundel' or dancing in a ring, they sing a lullaby.

    Shakespeare

  • That is why, in this book, in translating a 'roundel' of Villon which Rossetti had already translated, he misses the naïve quality of the French which Rossetti, in a version not in all points so faithful as this, had been able, in some subtle way, to retain.

    Figures of Several Centuries

  • A "roundel" of _Alpenrosen_, or dwarf rhododendrons, is the only break in the growth of moss and heather.

    Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 2

  • My roundel script developed tails that allowed each letter to flow into the next.

    Longhand « Write Anything

  • The sight lines are such that as we take in a seventh-century 3½-foot vertical stele of Vishnu from northern or eastern India we also catch a glimpse of a terra-cotta roundel made some 200 years earlier.

    From Stillness, Cosmic Action

  • He's an imposing figure (5 feet tall when on all fours) with a creepy red eye that's half Pepsi roundel and half Coke emblem.

    James Rieck and Jonathan Monaghan at Hamiltonian Gallery

  • Well, this pub was once called The White Horse, the emblem being painted on the big iron roundel that once denoted ownership by Ruddles.

    Ruddles County

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