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.

    • ‘Highlights of these volumes are the windows of the choir clerestory, and the tracery lights of various chapels and of the chapter house.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1The windows in the clerestory of a church or similar windows in another building.
      • ‘The main gable roof, with its clerestories and secondary skillions, is clad in a specially rolled profile.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A great deal of time is spent studying the sun's seasonal angles, capturing or controlling it with clerestories and tilted roof planes.’
      • ‘To solve this problem, the architects raised the central portion of the roof to create clerestories that can illuminate any classroom configuration.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2A raised section of roof running down the center of a railroad car, with small windows or ventilators.
      • ‘Externally the cars have clerestory roofs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The four-wheel clerestory roof planked side Sachsen coach will be in original red livery.’


Late Middle English: from clear + story.