One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A spiral scroll characteristic of Ionic capitals and also used in Corinthian and composite capitals.
loop, twist, turn, curl, hoop, roll, ring, twirl, gyre, whorl, scroll, curlicue, convolutionView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘In the center of the screen is a gate topped by two scrolling volutes supporting an oval crest bearing the emblem of the Jesuits, IHS.’
- ‘The only other pieces close in date to it are two composite capitals (also from the mid-10th century) in the third room, one labeled ‘Corinthian’ for some reason, although Ionic volutes are just as prominent as acanthus leaves.’
- ‘This circularity is echoed and enhanced by the razor-sharp curvilinear forms of apsidal niches, rounded arches, semicircular columns, Ionic volutes, decorative ovals, and turned balusters and kraters.’
2A deep-water marine mollusc with a thick colourful spiral shell which is prized by collectors.
Family Volutidae, class Gastropoda: Voluta and other genera
- ‘It is not uncommon for both Recent and fossil volutes from southern South America to have a protoconch that is corroded to various degrees by cold acidic waters.’
Forming a spiral curve or curves.‘a volute capital’
- ‘The incised design preserves the upper part of a representational scene that takes place beneath a pillared portico supported on either side by ornate lotus, papyrus, and volute capitals.’
Mid 16th century: from French, or from Latin voluta, feminine past participle of volvere ‘to roll’.
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