from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A circular or oval window; -- generally used of architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. A famous room in the palace of Versailles bears this name, from the oval window opening into it.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In architecture, a round or oval opening as in the frieze or roof of a building for admitting light; a bull's-eye.
  • n. Same as bull's-eye, 16.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Friday, April 17, 2009 at 03:14 PM 1. hang French door curtain - accomplished 2. understand architectural difference between oeil-de-boeuf and oriele 3. make boeuf stew

    velleite - French Word-A-Day

  • “Send me up a cutlet and a bottle of claret to my room,” this philosopher would say, and from the windows of that apartment, which commanded the terrace and avenue, he would survey the company as they arrived in their carriages, or take a peep at the ladies in the hall through an oeil-de-boeuf which commanded it from his corridor.

    The History of Pendennis

  • We had to get along a dim oak-panelled passage, and into a sort of oeil-de-boeuf, with a lantern light above, from which diverged two other solemn corridors, and a short puzzling turn or two brought us to the head of the upper stairs.

    Wylder's Hand

  • Henri II often dwelt over Lescot's plans and devices, and, on one occasion, when the poet Ronsard was present, demanded of the architect the meaning of the decorations surrounding a great _oeil-de-boeuf_ window, two kneeling figures, one blowing a trumpet, and the other extending a palm branch.

    Royal Palaces and Parks of France

  • The King, unwilling to expose their lives, told them to wait a few minutes, and afterwards sent to desire them to go to the oeil-de-boeuf.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • Alarmed for the Queen's life, he had gone down the staircases and through the corridors under the oeil-de-boeuf, by means of which he was accustomed to go to the Queen's apartments without being under the necessity of crossing that room.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • The ferocious horde instantly rushed towards the oeil-de-boeuf, hoping, no doubt, to intercept her on her way.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • The latter, however, were imprudent enough to enter the 'oeil-de-boeuf' chamber, where, were Messieurs Cardonne and Ruffin, interpreters of Oriental languages, and the first clerk of the consul's department, whose business it was to attend to everything which related to the natives of the East who were in France.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • The doors of the oeil-de-boeuf were closed, and the antechamber which precedes that room was filled with grenadiers who wanted to get in to massacre the Guards.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • He had, on the top floor of the charming house in the Rue Vernet, a small bachelor flat, lit by round windows, which he called his "oeil-de-boeuf."

    A Mummer's Tale


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