Definition of chevet in English:



  • (in large churches) an apse with an ambulatory giving access behind the high altar to a series of chapels set in bays.

    • ‘It took considerable architectural and engineering skill to bridge a substantial change of levels, but the result was one of the most splendid chevets of France.’
    • ‘It is characterised by its basilical layout with narrow aisles, its three vaulted apses and the functional and harmonious sobriety of the ‘lombardic band’ decoration of the chevets.’
    • ‘The lay-out of the chevet is characteristic of the bigger Romanesque churches in Auvergne; the pyramidal arrangement of the tiers of clearly distinct masses makes it easy to follow the architectural design of the interior.’
    • ‘The style of the choir, imitating the polygonal structure of the chevets of medieval churches, was most likely chosen to blend in with the dynamic composition of the nave.’


Early 19th century: from French, literally ‘pillow’, from Latin capitium, from caput ‘head’.