Definition of corbel in US English:



  • A projection jutting out from a wall to support a structure above it.

    • ‘The money saved by this discipline can be spent on leaded glass windows, corbels and chimney pots - exterior design elements that add to a home's curb appeal and value.’
    • ‘These features are also shared with marginal sculptures of predominantly secular subject matter, such as several quatrefoils from the west portals of Amiens Cathedral and figural corbels from Noyon.’
    • ‘In the teeming temples of the mother goddesses Vindya Vashini, Kali Koh and Ashtapuja we again saw corbels carved like human women with wings.’
    • ‘Craftsmen have also completed the conservation of a series of carved corbels, some depicting mythical beasts and animals, positioned on the palace walls.’
    • ‘Then we added cornices, corbels, ceiling roses and two custom built crystal chandeliers.’
    • ‘Bradford planning authority could legitimately have insisted that for part of such a high-profile city centre development the walls should be natural stone, with natural stone corbels supporting the guttering.’
    • ‘Where it meets the tower, the bridge deck is supported on corbels cast into the legs.’
    • ‘He said the beams that hold the lantern itself rest on corbels which have also been substantially eroded over time.’
    • ‘It can also be seen below the angel corbels in the chancel at Ewelme.’
    • ‘The company can also supply corbels, brackets, pilasters, columns and fireplaces.’
    • ‘On a lighter note I am looking forward to another bank holiday - we will be touring the salvage yards of the northeast this weekend looking for antique corbels, floorboards, doors, fireplaces, architraves, door handles etc.’
    • ‘They are found on the exterior of gothic buildings often in combination with other grotesque and marginal sculpture on corbels and parapets, which are sometimes also mistakenly called gargoyles.’
    • ‘The front door and shutters are copper, oxidized to match the posts and corbels.’
    • ‘This unusual fourteenth-century Green Man is to be found on a corbel high on the north wall inside Pinchbeck church.’
    • ‘With a thickness of 12 inches, the arch features a decorative keystone and double corbels, outlined by antique glazing on a white lacquer base.’
    • ‘There is more carving on the wall panels, pews and pulpit, the ceiling has fine reliefs, and the corbels supporting the beams have curious carvings, including angels with musical instruments.’
    • ‘The fourteenth-century church at Harlaxton contains an interesting font, and several corbels depicting Green Men.’
    • ‘The hall remains open to its 18m high, sweet chestnut roof, which is of kingpost construction with wooden corbels carved as human figures, said to represent people who worked on the manor.’
    • ‘Applewhite used tile payers, a sturdy arbor made of recycled timbers, and a pair of antique, hand-carved corbels to give the patio character.’
    • ‘Your mantle should be firmly attached to the wall prior to adding the corbels.’


[with object]
  • Support (a structure) on corbels.

    ‘courses of stone were corbeled out from the angles of the walls of the square’
    • ‘Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbeled limestone slabs.’
    • ‘Roofs could be of horizontal capstones to make the so-called dolmens, or of oversailing courses of slabs, which are known as corbelled vaults.’
    • ‘Inside the chamber, enormous rocks with smaller rocks jammed into the cracks to act as mortar form a corbeled ceiling, giving you the impression that you're in a small temple.’
    • ‘The traditional trefoil window arch expressed in timber is ubiquitous, along with corbelled timber dentils used as a supporting cornice.’
    • ‘From the top I can touch the elaborately decorated, corbeled ceiling without stretching.’
    • ‘Domes using these materials are easily achieved with a corbelling system utilizing long tubes made of the polypropylene bag material.’
    • ‘The basic construction technique involves filling sandbags with earth and laying them in circular courses that are corbelled near the top to form a dome.’
    • ‘The building is constructed by piling each course of stones on top of and stepped in slightly from the one beneath it in a technique called corbelling.’
    • ‘Internal buttresses in each of the corners support the corbelled roof.’
    • ‘There are the same number of pieces at each level, and he achieved the appearance of deformation by corbelling, overlapping, and rotating the material as the wall got higher.’
    • ‘This almost rusticated or corbelled brickwork technique, together with the raked horizontal joints, imbues the hearth with an earth-pressing monumentality, not unlike that of the Griffins architecture.’
    • ‘Amateurs can easily fill the tubes using simple agricultural tools, after which bags are arranged in a spiral that is gradually corbelled inwards as it ascends to form a dome.’
    • ‘There are two such blocks, one on top of the other, forming the vertical sides of the alcove, the next four blocks being offset about 13 cm toward the center to form the corbeled ceiling.’
    • ‘There were places where neighbours could comfortably have shaken hands across the street from corbelled second stories.’
    • ‘The roof of the inner chamber consists of a corbelled ceiling that was built with huge slabs of rocks with small rocks filling the gaps.’
    • ‘A large fogou can also be seen on the site with an unusual circular side chamber with a corbelled roof.’
    • ‘The designers took advantage of the brick corbeling at the window heads and this recessed detail of the window surroundings, ‘explained the panel.’’
    • ‘The artisans, profoundly influenced by the woodwork, create pillars with corbelling, showing tenon joints and exhibiting the style of wood carvers in their detailing.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, diminutive of corp ‘crow’, from Latin corvus ‘raven’ (perhaps because of the shape of a corbel, resembling a crow's beak).