Dictionary

easel

noun ea·sel \ˈē-zəl\

: a frame for supporting an artist's painting

Full Definition of EASEL

:  a frame for supporting something (as an artist's canvas)

Illustration of EASEL

Origin of EASEL

Dutch ezel, literally, ass, from Middle Dutch esel; akin to Old English esol ass; both from a prehistoric EGmc-WGmc word borrowed from Latin asinus ass
First Known Use: 1596

Rhymes with EASEL

EASEL Defined for Kids

easel

noun ea·sel \ˈē-zəl\

Definition of EASEL for Kids

:  a frame for supporting an artist's painting

Word History of EASEL

Our word easel is borrowed from the Dutch word ezel, which means literally donkey. A donkey is used for carrying loads, and an artist's easel, like an obedient animal, does the work of supporting an artist's canvas. If this comparison seems at all odd, we should recall that horse in English is used in a similar way, as in the compound sawhorse, a frame that supports wood for cutting.

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