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

  • n. A narrow convex molding often having the form of beading.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A molding for edging or decorating furniture.
  • n. A molding attached to double doors to prevent drafts.
  • n. The bone in the ankle connecting to the leg bones to form the ankle joint.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A convex molding of rounded surface, generally from half to three quarters of a circle.
  • n. A round molding encircling a cannon near the mouth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In architecture: A small convex molding cut into the form of a string of beads, used in classical architecture, especially in connection with the egg-and-dart molding and between the faces of different projection of Ionic and Corinthian epistyle and coffering beams. A small plain convex molding, usually with a fillet beneath it, sometimes between two fillets, used between the capital and the shaft of classic orders, except the Greek Doric, and in many other positions in classic, medieval, and later styles. See cut under column. Also called bead.
  • n. A convex molding encircling a cannon near the mouth: not present on modern guns.
  • n. In carpentry, one of the rabbeted bars which hold the panes of a window.
  • n. In anatomy, the astragalus.
  • n. The game of knuckle-bones; knuckle-downs.

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

  • n. the bone in the ankle that articulates with the leg bones to form the ankle joint
  • n. a beaded molding for edging or decorating furniture


Latin astragalus, from Greek astragalos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἀστράγαλος. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Well paint me in pinstripes and kerf my astragal.

    April 8, 2016

  • An astragal is commonly used as a seal between a pair of doors. The astragal closes the clearance gap. The vertical member (molding) attaches to a stile on one of a pair of doors (either sliding or swinging) against which the other door strikes, or closes. Exterior astragals are kerfed for weatherstripping. Also, flush head and foot bolt hardware is commonly mortised into the astragal to hold the inactive door in place, when both doors operate, at the top and bottom.

    Also known as “meeting stile seals,” the term can refer to the raised half-round overlap where pairs of doors meet, such as is the case with French doors. An astragal is designed to be applied to one or both doors of a pair at their meeting edges (meeting stiles). The astragal closes the clearance gap for the purpose of either providing a weather seal, ensuring privacy, preventing sound from leaking in or out of a room, minimizing the passage of light between the doors, or retarding the passage of smoke or flame during a fire.

    Doors are typically the weakest link in any partition that is designed to block sound. This is often due to poor sealing around the perimeter of the door. Astragals, perimeter gasketing, drop seals and door sweeps can all be used to prevent sound from leaking through cracks around the door perimeter.

    In cabinet making, an astragal can mean a bar separating panes of glass, either vertically or horizontally. This use is also common with window manufacturers.

    See also astragalus.

    April 7, 2016

  • "...he spoke privately to those whose province it was, pointing out that her guns were hopelessly old-fashioned—they could never be re-issued now—the second reinforce and the muzzle astragal were in every case different from the present regulation piece..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Letter of Marque, 52

    February 27, 2008

  • A small convex molding cut into the form of a string of beads

    February 9, 2007