Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A horizontal molded projection that crowns or completes a building or wall.
  • noun The uppermost part of an entablature.
  • noun A strip of molding that runs along the upper part of a wall just below the ceiling.
  • noun An ornamental horizontal molding or frame used to conceal rods, picture hooks, or other devices.
  • noun An overhanging mass of windblown snow on a ridge or the crest of a mountain.
  • transitive verb To supply, decorate, or finish with or as if with a cornice.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In architecture, any molded projection which crowns or finishes the part to which it is affixed; specifically, the third or uppermost division of an entablature, resting on the frieze. (See column.) When the crowning course of a wall is plain, it is usually called a coping.
  • noun An ornamental molding, usually of plaster, running round the walls of a room just below the ceiling.
  • noun In upholstery, an ornamental band or molding which covers and conceals the rod or hooks from which curtains, etc., are hung.
  • noun A molding or strip of wood, plain or gilded, fastened to the walls of a room, at the proper height from the floor, to serve as a support for picture-hooks; a picture-cornice.
  • To furnish or finish with a cornice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch.) Any horizontal, molded or otherwise decorated projection which crowns or finishes the part to which it is affixed.
  • noun the ring on a cannon next behind the muzzle ring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun architecture A horizontal architectural element of a building, projecting forward from the main walls, originally used as a means of directing rainwater away from the building's walls. See also: eaves, fascia.
  • noun A decorative element applied at the topmost part of the wall of a room, as with a crown moulding.
  • noun A decorative element at the topmost portion of certain pieces of furniture, as with a highboy.

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

  • noun a decorative framework to conceal curtain fixtures at the top of a window casing
  • noun a molding at the corner between the ceiling and the top of a wall
  • verb furnish with a cornice
  • noun the topmost projecting part of an entablature

Etymologies

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

[Obsolete French, from Italian, possibly from Latin cornīx, cornīc-, crow, from its resemblance to a crow's beak (influenced by Greek korōnis, curved line, flourish).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps from Latin cornix, 'crow', influenced by Ancient Greek κορωνίς (koronis, "crown").

Examples

Comments

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

  • We paused before a house that seemed

    A swelling of the ground--

    The roof was scarcely visible--

    The cornice--but a mound

    -Emily Dickinson, from 27 ('Because I could not stop for Death')

    July 17, 2009

  • in ice and snow, it's the snow at the top of a mountain which is wind and turbulence sculpted into an overhang

    February 12, 2013