easel

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noun ea·sel \ˈē-zəl\

Definition of easel

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

Illustration of easel

Origin and Etymology of easel

borrowed from Dutch ezel, literally, “donkey,” going back to Middle Dutch esel, going back to Germanic *asil- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German esil “donkey,” Old English esol, eosol, Gothic asilus), altered from Latin asinus — more at 1ass


First Known Use: 1596


EASEL Defined for English Language Learners

easel

play
noun ea·sel \ˈē-zəl\

Definition of easel for English Language Learners

  • : a frame for supporting an artist's painting


EASEL Defined for Kids

easel

play
noun ea·sel \ˈē-zəl\

Definition of easel for Students

  1. :  a frame for supporting an artist's painting

History for 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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