Definition of metope in US English:



  • A square space between triglyphs in a Doric frieze.

    • ‘Like the pediments, the metopes include local elements and offered a model of heroic behavior to the ancient viewer, especially to Olympic athletes.’
    • ‘Leaves, rocks, shells, fish scales, all vanished in favour of a few urn-like finials, a hint of metope or columnar fluting, or the suggestion of a pediment.’
    • ‘Sansovino could have designed a rusticated flat arch for the herms to carry, or even a simple Tuscan entablature without metopes and triglyphs, but instead he chose the Doric.’
    • ‘In the Doric frieze above, six of the roundels decorating the metopes display figural reliefs that are very hard to decipher in the gloom into which the door is plunged by the barrel vault above.’
    • ‘The cropping, the strenuous poses and the three-quarter positioning are especially reminiscent of the fragmented figures of struggling warriors on the Parthenon metopes.’


Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek metopē, from meta ‘between’ + opē ‘hole for a beam end’.