from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In decorative art, a space opening, panel, or the like, of an oval shape; also, a work of art filling such a space, as a bas-relief, or the like.
  • noun Eccles., the vesica piscis.


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

[Italian, almond, mandorla, from Vulgar Latin *amendola, almond, alteration of Latin amygdala; see almond.]



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  • A gloriole or glory when it surrounds the entire figure of God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint with a large oval of radiant light. Mandorla is the Italian word for almond. When it surrounds the head only, it is called a halo or nimbus. It indicates divinity or holiness. (From ArtLex)

    June 5, 2008