Definitions

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

  • noun A semicircular or semielliptical window, often with sash bars arranged like the ribs of a fan, usually placed over a door or another window.
  • noun Chiefly British A transom.

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

  • noun a semicircular or semioval window over a door or other window, normally having a fan-like structure of ribs; sometimes hinged to the transom

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

  • noun a window in a roof to admit daylight
  • noun a window above a door that is usually hinged to a horizontal crosspiece over the door
  • noun a semicircular window over a door or window; usually has sash bars like the ribs of a fan

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From fan + light ("window")

Examples

  • He found that he was in a grotto, went towards the opening, and through a kind of fanlight saw a blue sea and an azure sky.

    The Count of Monte Cristo

  • The five-bay facade features an enclosed entranceway with sidelights and fanlight transom.

    Willett of the Day: The Willett House(s)

  • Harriet, following more slowly, surveyed the solid front door, with its imposing knocker and beautiful fanlight, and longed to get off her bike and go inside.

    Politics 101

  • She would have liked to have asked about them, but Sieske was already at the great wooden door with its imposing fanlight, and the doctor caught hold of her arm and hurried her inside behind his daughter, to be greeted by his wife.

    Politics 101

  • As I approached the house I saw a tall man in a Scotch bonnet with a coat which was buttoned up to his chin waiting outside in the bright semicircle which was thrown from the fanlight.

    Sole Music

  • In the entry, where the pattern of the fanlight over the front door shone starkly against the deep shadows therebehind it the staircase, of course.

    Excerpt: A False Mirror by Charles Todd

  • Apparently his uncle had lifted the boy up to enter a house via the fanlight window, whereupon he had opened the door to admit the older man.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Apparently his uncle had lifted the boy up to enter a house via the fanlight window, whereupon he had opened the door to admit the older man.

    Déja Lu

  • Several windows were broken, including a fanlight with a Star of David painted on it over the front door of the community centre.

    Larisa Alexandrovna: The Evil of It All...

  • And then the silhouette reappeared briefly in the fanlight just as the second lamp was extinguished.

    Excerpt: A False Mirror by Charles Todd

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