Definitions

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

  • n. Architecture A gallery of arches above the side-aisle vaulting in the nave of a church.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The gallery of arches above the side-aisle vaulting in the nave of a church.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The gallery or open space between the vaulting and the roof of the aisles of a church, often forming a rich arcade in the interior of the church, above the nave arches and below the clearstory windows.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In medieval architecture, a gallery above the arches of the nave and choir, and often of the transepts, of a church, generally in the form of an arcade.

Etymologies

Medieval Latin, a gallery in Canterbury Cathedral (later taken to mean "with three openings”).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Above the triforium is the clerestory, which contains one light to each sub-bay, and surmounting all is the vaulting, which springs from the piers and from grotesquely carved corbels between the triforium arches.

    Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Durham A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Espiscopal See

  • Early English transept of the minster itself the triforium is the most prominent feature of the design.

    The Cathedral Church of York Bell's Cathedrals: A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Archi-Episcopal See

  • The interior has a clean and fresh appearance owing to the recent restorations and is chiefly remarkable for the balustraded triforium which is continued round the whole church.

    Normandy, Illustrated, Complete

  • Over the whole aisle on each side runs a broad gallery usually called the "triforium," lighted by Perpendicular windows in the outer wall; and above is the "clerestory," or "clear-story," affording a narrow passage in the thickness of the main wall, lighted by the original Norman windows; thus the height is divided into three parts -- ground-story, triforium, and clerestory; and the breadth into the same number -- nave, north aisle, and south aisle; probably designed as a type of the Trinity, as it is thought by many that these symbolical considerations were used in the building of churches in early ages.

    Ely Cathedral

  • He is one of those writers who finds the exact word for absolutely everything, which gives his prose an oddly poetic effect, full of terms like ‘triforium’ and ‘chasuble’, ‘pontificalia’ and ‘myrmidon’.

    On Silence « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Gothic order has its columnar support, its arch (in place of the beam), its decoratively treated stage (the triforium), occupying the space against which the aisle roof abuts, and its clerestory, or window stage.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 647, May 26, 1888

  • Two spacious aisles run up each side of the nave, separated by clustered columns supporting pointed arches, the front row being surmounted by a narrow mullioned triforium and a lofty clerestory, both lighted by beautifully-painted glass windows.

    The South of France—East Half

  • Within the doorway is a spacious narthex, of which the triforium is filled with antiquities connected with the monastery which adjoined the church.

    The South of France—East Half

  • Statuettes like Caryatides sustain the columns of the triforium.

    The South of France—East Half

  • Between are pointed arches, and immediately above, the triforium, having over each arch a treble window resting on four fascicled and three impost colonnettes.

    The South of France—East Half

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  • "In a brace of shakes you'll have a bed and a bite in the triforium. I'd have put you there when you came but I feared you were too feeble to face the stairs." - 'Lanark', Alasdair Gray.

    December 13, 2007