Definition of archivolt in US English:



  • 1A band of molding, resembling an architrave, around the lower curve of an arch.

    • ‘The imposts of the ground-storey piers were simplified and the moulded archivolts were omitted.’
    • ‘The grisaille paintings portray archivolt figures as well as saints in scenes which parallel the main motifs.’
    • ‘A careful examination of the façade's decoration reveals over a hundred plant species and a hundred animals sculpted on the archivolts and ribs.’
    • ‘In the Romanesque and Gothic styles, the archivolt frames the tympanum, a richly sculpted panel.’
    • ‘The recessed entry is located in the tower, and has a round arch with decorative archivolt molding.’
    1. 1.1 The lower curve of an arch from impost to impost of the columns.
      • ‘The archivolt is comprised of two arches.’
      • ‘The windows along the south side, which appear from without to be four-centred Gothic arches, are in fact round-headed, with classical archivolts and keystones.’
      • ‘Construction technique, the way the ashlars are worked and the profiles of an archivolt are the only means of dating the discovered walls, and thus the entire building.’


Mid 17th century: from French archivolte or Italian archivolto, based on Latin arcus ‘bow, arch’ + volvere ‘to roll’.