clere·​sto·​ry ˈklir-ˌstȯr-ē How to pronounce clerestory (audio)
variants or less commonly clearstory
: an outside wall of a room or building that rises above an adjoining roof and contains windows

Illustration of clerestory

Illustration of clerestory
  • clerestory 1

Examples of clerestory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The unusual roofline, a hallmark of mid-century style across California, continues over the interiors, while clerestory windows and vast windows flood the space with natural light. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 17 Apr. 2024 The home features a vaulted great room with wide-plank floors, exposed beams, and clerestory windows; big open kitchen; bunk/theater room; and lower level with ski gear area and kitchenette. The Week Staff, theweek, 31 Jan. 2024 The main house has five bedrooms, each with bath and fireplace; a double-height great room with oversize and clerestory windows and fireplace; a chef's kitchen; wine storage; and a sunset roof deck. The Week Staff, The Week, 31 July 2022 Vaulted ceilings add volume, and windows were strategically placed to harness light and provide glimpses of the sky via clerestory windows and open views over the leafy canyon thanks to vast planes of glass. Mark David, Robb Report, 11 Nov. 2023 Other midcentury design hallmarks include clean lines, clerestory windows, and walls of glass. Mark David, Robb Report, 21 Sep. 2023 The galley kitchen has plenty of storage. Find clerestory windows throughout the home, which allows natural light to pour in the space. Ryan Conner, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2023 The studio has its own entrance — with a black brick façade and clerestory windows. Curbed, 31 July 2023 The height of the upper clerestory level, which is the highest part of the ceiling, reaches 63 feet, 7 inches. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 3 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clerestory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from clere clear + story

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clerestory was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near clerestory

Cite this Entry

“Clerestory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


clere·​sto·​ry ˈkli(ə)r-ˌstōr-ē How to pronounce clerestory (audio)
plural clerestories
: an outside wall of a room or building that rises above a roof next to it and contains windows

More from Merriam-Webster on clerestory

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!