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

  • n. A bay window projecting from an upper floor, supported from below with a corbel or bracket.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large polygonal recess in a building, such as a bay window.
  • n. A gallery for minstrels.
  • n. A small apartment next to a hall, used for dining.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A gallery for minstrels.
  • n. A small apartment next a hall, where certain persons were accustomed to dine; a sort of recess.
  • n. A bay window. See Bay window.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A portico, recess, or small room forming a projection from a room or building, as a hall or chapel, in the form of a large bay or recessed window, and often more richly furnished or more private than the rest of the room or building, formerly used as a boudoir, closet, and separate apartment for various purposes.

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

  • n. a projecting bay window corbeled or cantilevered out from a wall


Middle English, from Old French oriol, porch, from Medieval Latin oriolum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French oriol ("gallery, corridor"), Late Latin oriolum ("portico, hall"), probably from Latin aureolus ("gilded"), applied to an apartment decorated with gilding. See oriole. (Wiktionary)



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  • a1400 Prose Life Christ (Pepys) 21 And Jesus was tho a slepe bihinde in the schipp in an oriole. 1440 Promp. Parv. (Harl. 221) 369 Oryel of a wyndowe, cancellus, intendicula.

    May 28, 2008