Definition of spandrel in US English:



  • 1The almost triangular space between one side of the outer curve of an arch, a wall, and the ceiling or framework.

    • ‘The building service core is a solid, while transparency is achieved through variations in a curtain wall composed of vision, spandrel, and fritted glass.’
    • ‘On the rear wall is a kind of private chapel, a wall niche framed by pilasters and faced with spandrels with inlaid vegetal ornament, which shelters an altar.’
    • ‘About 1,100 glass panels, including windows and spandrels, were blown out.’
    • ‘The new tower appears in Bayard's photograph of 1851, yet Ruskin's spandrel is just visible - still unscathed.’
    • ‘Relief panels containing scenes from the Childhood of Christ filled the triangular spandrels between the gables dominating the screen's facade.’
    1. 1.1 The space between the shoulders of adjoining arches and the ceiling or molding above.


Late Middle English: perhaps from Anglo-Norman French spaund(e)re, or from espaundre ‘expand’.