Definition of capstone in US English:



  • 1A stone fixed on top of something, typically a wall.

    • ‘Parallel double rows of eight to twelve much taller Latte pillars topped by separate capstones are all that is left of what must have been huge structures throughout the archipelago.’
    • ‘And I, the son and grandson of Indiana architects, seize this opportunity to suggest a feature which I hope will be included in the completed structure, words to be chiseled into the capstone over the main entrance.’
    • ‘A 24-inch base material of #2 or #3 stone and 12 inches of ground aggregate capstone were used to provide a quality subgrade.’
    • ‘The capstone porch railings are made of quarried Indiana limestone, and the quakeproof foundation includes 29-inch thick walls.’
    • ‘‘That's chalcedony,’ Corissa remarked, her eyes focusing on the translucent gray capstones of the wall.’
    • ‘In such cases bands, columns, lintels, sills, jambs, quoins, water tables, medallions, capstones, and copings were wrought of the stone quite often repeating the coloration of the stone used in the steps or foundation.’
    • ‘When we reached the spot they had turned, we could see that a carved capstone had been rolled into place behind them.’
    • ‘To the south, the walls are neat, with angled capstones and two levels of through stones.’
    • ‘A capstone is the uppermost stone of a structure in architecture.’
    • ‘It looks fine although the wall capstones could do with painting.’
    • ‘Wind- and drought-gnarled Torrey pines do a pas de deux with sandstone formations whose knife-edge ridges, deep furrows, and occasional hoodoo-like capstones create a mini Bryce Canyon at the beach.’
    1. 1.1Archaeology A large flat stone forming a roof over the chamber of a megalithic tomb.
      • ‘As with other portal dolmens, access was through the gap between the side walls and the capstone.’
      • ‘It is easily as large as the Great Pyramid at Giza, but it is white with a golden capstone.’
      • ‘Imagine an ancient burial site, which has the biggest capstone in Europe yet no one is able to get to it.’
      • ‘The capstone of the third grave had survived, however, and inside lay the fragile remains of a child aged about 9-12.’
      • ‘At the centre of this monument are several upright stones, and a great big capstone lying horizontally across the top and resting on mere knife-edge points of three of the standing stones.’
      • ‘At the same time, a cruciform chamber roofed with large capstones was constructed at the wider, higher end of the enlarged mound.’
      • ‘The capstone on this Dolmen is considered to be the biggest in the world.’
      • ‘This in turn leads to the much larger trapezoidal burial chamber at a slightly higher level, which has survived with its capstone intact.’
      • ‘The largest block recorded is the capstone of the tomb at Browneshill, County Carlow, Ireland, estimated to weigh 100 tonnes.’
      • ‘Three pairs of the large stones were topped by lintel stones, but the others were missing the capstones they had once supported, which now lay scattered about the circle, some intact, others broken.’
      • ‘Portal tombs are so called from the two large upright stones forming the entrance to the burial chamber; a capstone is set over these and slopes backwards to rest on backstones.’
      • ‘Erected around 3,500 BC, it has the largest capstone in Europe.’