One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
often as modifier (in classical architecture) one of a number of small rectangular blocks resembling teeth, used as a decoration under the moulding of a cornice.‘a dentil frieze’
- ‘Perhaps inspired by the elegant Georgian style houses he recalled from his boyhood in Haverhill, Massachusetts, he trimmed his two-story clapboarded house with quoins and a cornice with dentils.’
- ‘The diamond-patterned tortoiseshell panel, offset with faux dentils of ivory and macassar ebony, recalls patterns he also used for wall hangings.’
- ‘The opening at one end of the shrine is closed not by the paneled doors characteristic of temples but by a pair of low gates carved to represent wickerwork and surmounted by a row of inverted dentils.’
- ‘Highlighted items are the paintwork gilding to the capitals in the entrance hall and dentil frieze details in the dining room.’
- ‘The marble was part of the dentil moulding that serves as a frame for the frieze of statues atop the court's main entrance.’
Late 16th century: from Italian dentello or obsolete French dentille, diminutive of dent ‘tooth’, from Latin dens, dent-.
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