from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The underside of a structural component, such as a beam, arch, staircase, or cornice.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The visible underside of an arch, balcony, beam, cornice, staircase, vault or any other architectural element.
- n. The top point of the inside open section of a pipe or box conduit.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The under side of the subordinate parts and members of buildings, such as staircases, entablatures, archways, cornices, or the like. See Illust. of lintel.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In architecture: The under horizontal face of an architrave between columns
- n. The lower surface of an arch.
- n. The ceiling of a room, when divided by cross-beams into panels, compartments, or lacunaria.
- n. The under face of an overhanging cornice, of a projecting balcony, an entablature, a staircase, etc.
- n. In scenepainting, a border. See scene, 4.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the underside of a part of a building (such as an arch or overhang or beam etc.)
French soffite, from Italian soffitto, from Vulgar Latin *suffīctus, past participle of suffīgere, to fasten beneath; see suffix.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French soffite, from Italian soffitto, from sof- ("under") + past participle of figgere ("to fix"). (Wiktionary)