Definition of oriel in US English:



  • 1A projection from the wall of a building, typically supported from the ground or by corbels.

    • ‘The tree's branches structurally support the third-floor oriel extending halfway up the fourth floor or gable above it.’
    • ‘Because of the oriel's off-center position, the Dance of Death frieze is divided into two parts of unequal length.’
    • ‘Fixed horizontal prismatic louvres above the oriels shade the windows from the sun.’
    • ‘The vizzy (spy hole), with its tiny roof, is designed like a flat-fronted oriel, a miniature echo of the stone oriel fronting Edward IV's chapel above.’
    • ‘Opposite is a range rebuilt in the early C16 with central tower with octagonal turrets and two-storey oriel.’
    • ‘Because the Klein family owned ironworks in northern Moravia, cast iron was widely used on the building's facade in windows and oriels.’
    alcove, bay, niche, nook, corner, inglenook
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A window in an oriel.
      • ‘The front of the house is true Baker - stone walls, palladian windows, a tall oriel window, an Italian staircase leading onto a three-arched verandah with the balcony above.’
      • ‘There are porthole windows with small medieval panes and a curious west-facing oriel window which seems out of place until you realise that inside on the window seat Jane Morris could catch the last of the evening light to do her embroidery.’
      • ‘If the altar tracery was intended to invoke a chapel interior, it is probably significant that on Edward's gates a prominent feature is the repeated projecting oriel window, which reflects Edward's oratory immediately above.’
      • ‘The window frames have also been scrapped and repainted and the leaking roof of the oriel window has been repaired.’
      • ‘Usually, MPs’ rooms are grouped in pairs. with a room between for secretarial staff who (significantly perhaps) do not enjoy an oriel window.’
      • ‘The room feels like a ship - Dad and I love boats - and has an oriel window.’
      • ‘The structure reminded Manda of a creepy haunted mansion she'd often seen in movies, the grouped chimneys and pinnacles, the sloping roof, the parapets and the oriel and quatrefoil windows.’
      • ‘Mullioned turret and oriel windows running across the first and second storeys create a wall-of-glass effect from the exterior and light and airy chambers within.’
      • ‘Stopover now would not look out of place in Palm Beach: the original wing has been restored to gleaming beamed glory, with an impressive full-height oriel window creating a sort of Tudor-style atrium dominated by a massive chandelier.’


Late Middle English: from Old French oriol ‘gallery’, of unknown origin; compare with medieval Latin oriolum ‘upper chamber’.