Definition of pediment in US English:



  • 1The triangular upper part of the front of a building in classical style, typically surmounting a portico of columns.

    • ‘They followed the classic model of Greek temples, with their rectangular rows of columns, topped by beams and relieved by a triangular pediment.’
    • ‘The city was gloriously clean, its classical columns and pediments and its baroque scrolls and volutes now clearly delineated by the shadows cast by an oblique sun on their pale surfaces.’
    • ‘Modelled on St. Peter's basilica in Rome, its façade is defined by Corinthian pilasters and a pediment, with a great central dome towering over them.’
    • ‘A massive pediment with entablature is supported by four Roman Doric columns on granite bases.’
    • ‘The entablature and pediment of the portico are supported by two pairs of massive Ionic columns.’
    1. 1.1 A feature similar to a pediment surmounting a door, window, front, or other part of a building in another style.
      • ‘Next time you see a Venetian window, a triangular pediment, a coved gallery ceiling, or a Georgian terrace with lined stucco, remember who started it all.’
      • ‘All the houses will have a traditional look with curved timber framed windows, decorative roof detail and over-door pediments.’
      • ‘Trim the exterior of the door with finish carpentry such as columns and a crosshead pediment to extend the width of the door.’
      • ‘With an original oak floor, this area also features a carved oak ceiling rose, pediments, cornices and architraves.’
      • ‘Like the great house, its windows were surmounted by alternating triangular and rounded pediments.’
    2. 1.2Geology A broad, gently sloping expanse of rock debris extending outward from the foot of a mountain slope, especially in a desert.
      • ‘At the toe of the slope a rock pediment can be found.’


Late 16th century (as periment): perhaps an alteration of pyramid.