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

  • n. Architecture One of a series of small rectangular blocks projecting like teeth from a molding or beneath a cornice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One of a series of small rectangular blocks projecting like teeth from a molding or beneath a cornice.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small square block or projection in cornices, a number of which are ranged in an ornamental band; -- used particularly in the Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In architecture one of a series of little cubes into which the square member in the bed molding of an Ionic, a Corinthian, a Composite, or occassionally a Roman Doric cornice is cut.
  • n. In heraldry, one of the teeth or indents in anything indented or dancetté: used alike of the projecting teeth and of the notches between them.


Obsolete French dentille, from Old French, diminutive of dent, tooth; see dentist.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French dentille, ultimately from Latin dente, ablative singular of dēns. (Wiktionary)


  • The space has the original dentil molding along the ceiling.

    Gilded Age Living on the Hudson

  • Look at Washington's Greek Revival public buildings and you'll see the designs that have inspired residential woodwork, such as the dentil trim -- a series of rectangular blocks resembling teeth -- along the cornice of the Supreme Court building.

    The crowning touch: Moldings span a range of styles, materials and prices

  • The chunk of Vermont marble was part of the dentil molding that serves as a frame for nine sculptural figures completed in 1935.

    Metaphorical Bulletin! Stone Falls From Supreme Court Facade

  • There was no wood paneling, no fireplace, no dentil moldings, just a warren of free-standing office-style cubes.

    When the Wind Blows

  • Florid carvings in stone covered expansive panels under the complex bands of dentil moldings that ran in mitered bands over the tops of the capitals.

    Stone of Tears

  • There are monstrous three-story Victorian houses with wraparound porches wide enough to roller-skate on, and turrets, and dentil work along the eaves.


  • I took out the Copenhagen plate, with its underglaze blue wave mark, and for a time sat looking at the gilt dentil edge and Rosa Mundi spray, designed when Mozart was still in his twenties and thirty years before Napoleon sent half a million men to grief in the Russian snows.

    The Girl In A Swing

  • The intersection (or in Greek [Greek: metopê]) is apportioned so that the face of each dentil is half as wide as its height and the cavity of each intersection two thirds of this face in width.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • Under the eaves of the roof of the nave run a dentil moulding, and a frieze of medallions connected by an undulating line of foliage.

    The South of France—East Half

  • A delicate dentil cornice runs round the building, bending over the round-headed windows and across the buttresses.

    The South of France—East Half


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