Definition of roundel in US English:



  • 1A small disk, especially a decorative medallion.

    • ‘On narrow strips of wall at both sides of the gallery entrance, and not likely to be noticed until you were leaving, hung rows of 15 dark bronze roundels about 4 inches in diameter.’
    • ‘It is amazing what a bit of metallised detailing on the roundels will do.’
    • ‘Antarctic veteran Bill Storer presents the roundel of Auster A11-201 to the director of the RAAF Museum, David Gardner.’
    1. 1.1 A picture or pattern contained in a circle.
      • ‘A double broken gable was placed atop displaying the festooned Chigi mountains and crowned by their star enclosed in a roundel.’
      • ‘The portrait circumscribes the subject: in showing usually only the head and shoulders in an oval or a roundel, the miniature constitutes a reduction from life-size to miniature and from the whole body to a part.’
      • ‘Around the border is a series of panels and roundels with birds and animals amidst scrolling foliage and with a coat of arms.’
      • ‘One of the stars of the collection is the Diana and Minerva commode of 1773, so called for the inlaid roundels representing the goddesses of the hunt and the arts, respectively.’
      • ‘His most notable acquisitions include a jade flask belonging to Clive of India, and a newly rediscovered renaissance Mantuan roundel of Vulcan and Venus.’
      • ‘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 example shown is ornamented with concentric bands of decoration around a group of folk dancers in the central roundel.’
      • ‘Each of the six windows features the image of a plant mentioned in the Bible, along with a memorial statement and two roundels containing painted symbols representing the Gospels.’
      • ‘St Ambrose and St Augustine appear in roundels above.’
      • ‘The upper roundels with resting warriors represent Peace, flanked by a figure of Justice.’
      • ‘The various shapes signify representatives of the animal kingdom; the square signifies the earthly reality of the four elements and our world; while the eight roundels suggest the heavenly bodies.’
      • ‘Particular highlights include an extraordinarily beautiful large French panel, c.1500 depicting Charles VIII, and an extremely rare French thirteenth-century roundel depicting the execution of John the Baptist.’
      • ‘The frame acquired the architectural elements of its churchlike structure: columns, cornices, arches and traceries, buttresses, ornate roundels like rose windows.’
      • ‘On either side, the Crescent Rainbow arch would have roundels containing ‘sculptured scenes’ from The Thousand and One Nights.’
      • ‘The roundels in the center show a doge kneeling before an enthroned Saint Mark and a seated, robed figure with the right hand raised, presumably in blessing.’
      • ‘The inscription in the roundel indicates that the movement was made after Godshalk moved to Philadelphia about 1763 or 1764 from Towamencin, a town just outside the city.’
    2. 1.2Heraldry A plain filled circle as a charge (often with a special name according to color).
      • ‘The film actually showed the colours of the roundel, which were unmistakably British, the unique undercarriage design of the Harrier, its name - Harrier - and its serial number.’
      • ‘It bears the shield of Mexico City within a crowned roundel and a Spanish legend that can be translated, ‘On His Accession to the Throne of Mexico City on December 27, 1789.’’
    3. 1.3 A circular identifying mark painted on military aircraft, as, for example, the red, white, and blue of the RAF.
      • ‘On 5 May, they flew six of the transports, now bearing the tricolored roundels of the French Air Force, to Gia Lam airbase outside Hanoi.’
      • ‘I leave her on a military passenger plane, complete with turquoise and white roundels, piloted by a uniformed officer.’
      • ‘The most telling and haunting part of the wreck is the Royal Australian Air Force roundel that has faded with time and was torn in half during a salvage attempt.’
      • ‘Still in a light shade of blue, SL721 now had revised roundels and repositioned initials.’
      • ‘‘I think the big Air Force roundels on the wings look quite spectacular and that came from the Air Force design,’ he said.’
  • 2A short poem consisting of three stanzas of three lines each, rhyming alternately, with the opening words repeated as a refrain after the first and third stanzas. The form, a variant of the rondeau, was developed by Swinburne.

    • ‘Swinburne commanded an impressive variety of verse forms, writing in classical metres, composing burlesques, modern and mock-antique ballads, roundels, etc.’


Middle English: from Old French rondel, from ro(u)nd- (see round).