cor·​bel | \ ˈkȯr-bəl How to pronounce corbel (audio) \

Definition of corbel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an architectural member that projects from within a wall and supports a weight especially : one that is stepped upward and outward from a vertical surface


corbeled or corbelled; corbeling or corbelling

Definition of corbel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to furnish with or make into a corbel

Illustration of corbel

Illustration of corbel


In the meaning defined above

Examples of corbel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Carters worked on building corbels, a type of support bracket, for one of 21 homes that will be constructed in Nashville this week during the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. Travis Loller, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Despite fall, former President Carter helps build home," 7 Oct. 2019 The chime assembly ties to the tower with a precast corbel anchored with a plate and bar. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "A 93-Foot Tribute to United 93: The "Tower of Voices" 9/11 Memorial," 6 Sep. 2018 But the real dazzlers are the details: Beadboard and corbels offer decorative gravitas (and highlight a wider countertop that can double as a breakfast bar). Lauren Piro, Good Housekeeping, "A Builder Grade Island Gets a Stylish Storage Makeover," 24 May 2015 Buy Photo From the backyard pool, Melanie and Curtis Richins can admire their home’s stucco-and-stone 1910 Craftsman style with its peaked roofs, brackets, and corbels. Sally A. Downey,, "Old combines with new in 1910 Craftsman house in Wynnewood," 3 July 2018 Outside there was decorative bargeboard over windows and doors, decorative cornice and corbel trim. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A major renovation improved 1872 Walker's Point home but kept the Gothic Revival charm," 3 May 2018 The 660-square-foot master bedroom has his-and-hers closets and baths, and a marble fireplace with cherubs sculpted in the mantel corbels. Janet Eastman,, "$2 million surge in 2 years: Wiederhorn's foreclosed mansion sells for $4 million (photos)," 26 Feb. 2018 But beyond the Greek Revival columns, Victorian corbels and wrought-iron gates, how have New Orleans streetscapes changed over the centuries? Chris Granger,, "Swipe the photos and see modern New Orleans compared with rare 19th-century photos," 22 Dec. 2017 Custom details also include unique moldings and decorative accents such as corbels and decorative legs to make the cabinets look like furniture. John Inc., Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Is custom cabinetry right for you?," 26 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corbel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of corbel


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1843, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for corbel


Middle English, "raven, architectural corbel," borrowed from Middle French (Anglo-French, "crow, raven"), going back to Old French, from corp "raven" (going back to Latin corvus) + -el, diminutive suffix (going back to Latin -ellus) — more at cornice entry 1

Note: Old French corp, corb for expected *corf (cf. cerf "deer," from Latin cervus) is difficult to explain; it has been speculated that the form was imported by Roman settlers from Etruria or another part of Italy where Latin -rv- regularly yields -rb- (cf. Tuscan corbo "raven" beside corvo; see Pierre Fouché, Phonétique historique du français, vol. 3, Paris, 1966, p. 798).


derivative of corbel entry 1

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Time Traveler for corbel

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The first known use of corbel was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

20 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Corbel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with corbel

Nglish: Translation of corbel for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about corbel

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to insert between existing elements

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