Definition of oriel in English:



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

    • ‘Opposite is a range rebuilt in the early C16 with central tower with octagonal turrets and two-storey oriel.’
    • ‘Fixed horizontal prismatic louvres above the oriels shade the windows from the sun.’
    • ‘Because of the oriel's off-center position, the Dance of Death frieze is divided into two parts of unequal length.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tree's branches structurally support the third-floor oriel extending halfway up the fourth floor or gable above it.’
    • ‘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 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.’


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