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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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