One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A flat on the top floor of a tall building, typically one that is luxuriously fitted.
apartment, set of rooms, home, residence, accommodationView synonyms
- ‘Top floor flats are single-storey penthouses, with fully glazed walls opening on to terraces that offer views across Liverpool, the Mersey estuary and the distant Welsh mountains.’
- ‘Floor space in the penthouses stretches to 96 square metres.’
- ‘The first time I met him was in his London home: a penthouse, one floor below Michael Caine's, in a gated harbour community in Chelsea.’
- ‘Building work at a penthouse apartment in a luxury York flats development was ‘woefully inadequate’, a court heard.’
- ‘Of course, the high and mighty have penthouses and large luxury flats.’
- ‘The upper penthouse is on floors 37 and 38 and measures 7,439 sq ft with two private terraces covering 3,218 sq ft.’
- ‘The development will eventually have more than 500 apartments, penthouses, duplexes and three-storey family homes on the 38 acre coastal site.’
- ‘I live in the penthouse on the top floor of the Grand Museum of Art, which is located right in the center of everything.’
- ‘The term is normally associated with bachelor pads, futuristic penthouses and plate-glass-and-steel mews dwellings.’
- ‘The only part of his life kept private is his art gallery, on the floor below his penthouse apartment.’
- ‘Lana specifically asks for a room on the top floor of the building, and is told that the penthouse on the 25th floor is available, but that the floor above is under construction.’
- ‘All four penthouses have solid beech floors throughout and the other three are extremely bright and have large bay windows.’
- ‘This penthouse shares the fourth floor of its block with one other apartment.’
- ‘One of two apartments on the upper floor, the penthouse has a long, L-shaped entrance hallway, off which is a shelved hot press.’
- ‘Their apartment was on the penthouse floor, offering a spectacular view of Fort Lauderdale Beach to the south, downtown to the north.’
- ‘The apartments and penthouses have double-glazed redwood framed windows, fitted kitchens and gas-fired central heating.’
- ‘The ninth and tenth floors set back to provide penthouses, advertised as the first in the UK.’
- ‘My apartment block lay in the distance, down the slight hill past the redeveloped Ipswich docks with its penthouse flats and wine bars.’
- ‘Number 79 is one of only two penthouses on the upper floor and is accessed by a communal lift.’
- ‘The guestrooms will be laid out on the upper three floors, with the fourth storey acting as a penthouse floor capable of being turned into 22 bedrooms.’
2archaic An outhouse or shelter with a sloping roof, built on to the side of a building.
- ‘Conventionally skinned in metal, the penthouse roof drains to a gutter on the north side.’
Middle English pentis (in penthouse (sense 2)), shortening of Old French apentis, based on late Latin appendicium ‘appendage’, from Latin appendere ‘hang on’. The change of form in the 16th century was by association with French pente ‘slope’ and house.
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