Definition of clerestory in English:


(also clearstory)


  • 1The upper part of the nave, choir, and transepts of a large church, containing a series of windows. It is clear of the roofs of the aisles and admits light to the central parts of the building.

    • ‘Just one of his guiding principles, that nothing should be built higher than the clerestory of the Minster, has insured that it remains a resolutely low-rise city.’
    • ‘The last major alteration was made soon afterwards when a clerestory was built above the nave arcades.’
    • ‘Light pours down at the ceremonial end from an unseen clerestory set into the roof where it steps up to offer nobility.’
    • ‘Standing above the river Trent is St Wystan's Church, much of which is of the mid-C14 and C15 including the tower and spire, clerestory, and roof.’
    • ‘Highlights of these volumes are the windows of the choir clerestory, and the tracery lights of various chapels and of the chapter house.’
    1. 1.1 The windows in the clerestory of a church or similar windows in another building.
      • ‘To solve this problem, the architects raised the central portion of the roof to create clerestories that can illuminate any classroom configuration.’
      • ‘A great deal of time is spent studying the sun's seasonal angles, capturing or controlling it with clerestories and tilted roof planes.’
      • ‘A cove-lit ceiling vault braced with polished steel rods is dramatically cut away to reveal a steel-framed butterfly roof and clerestory that survive from the original factory.’
      • ‘The roundhouse was red sandstone brick with graceful arches over most of the ten stalls and a corrugated metal roof adorned with a ventilated clerestory.’
      • ‘The main gable roof, with its clerestories and secondary skillions, is clad in a specially rolled profile.’
    2. 1.2 A raised section of roof running down the center of a railroad car, with small windows or ventilators.
      • ‘If you decide to glue the roof in place now, install the correct clerestory vent sides, depending on whether your car had air conditioning or not in the period you're modeling.’
      • ‘Externally the cars have clerestory roofs.’
      • ‘The four-wheel clerestory roof planked side Sachsen coach will be in original red livery.’


Late Middle English: from clear + storey.