ga·​ble ˈgā-bəl How to pronounce gable (audio)
: the vertical triangular end of a building from cornice or eaves to ridge
: the similar end of a gambrel roof
: the end wall of a building
: a triangular part or structure
gabled adjective

Illustration of gable

Illustration of gable
  • 1 gable 1a

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Floor-to-ceiling screens and a louvered gable let more sun pour in. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, 25 Apr. 2020 Wochit With its wide shingled body, its base made of stone and a dozen roof gables, this handsome house looks like it was lifted from the Nantucket seashore. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 28 Mar. 2020 The home’s dozens of gables, stone chimneys, and pinnacles suggest a small English village., 13 Feb. 2020 The home’s dozens of gables, stone chimneys and pinnacles suggest a small English village. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2020 The rebuilt roof’s dormers and gables give quirky angles to some rooms, and its original arched windows are now double-pane insulated. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 30 Nov. 2019 Its front face blends traditional styles — the shingle cladding of Nantucket, the pillars of classical Greece, the gables and dormers of Tudor. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 25 Jan. 2020 The facade used on TV is blah, a collection of nonsensical gables fronting the road, and the back aims for a faux-Cape Cod look, all cedar shingles and white trim applied to a rambling collection of rooms. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, 1 Aug. 2019 At the Mason Street Townhouses, Richard Cawley’s art has butterflies springing from a metal frame and sprays of cherry blossoms coming from the buildings’ gables. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin gabulus, gabulum "gibbet" (borrowed from Celtic *gablo- "fork," whence Old Irish gabul "fork, gibbet, groin," Welsh gafl "fork, groin"), perhaps influenced in sense by northern Middle English and Scots gavel "triangular end of a building," borrowed from Old Norse gafl

Note: The word gable, attested only in Anglo-French and the French of Normandy, is unlikely to be a loan from Old Norse, which would have resulted in *gavle. Old Norse gafl appears to correspond to Old High German gibil "gable," Middle Dutch and Middle Low German gevel, and Gothic gibla, though the divergence in vocalism is unexplained.

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near gable

Cite this Entry

“Gable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


ga·​ble ˈgā-bəl How to pronounce gable (audio)
: the triangular part of an outside wall of a building that is formed by the sides of the roof sloping down from the ridgepole to the eaves
: a triangular structure (as over a door or window)
gabled adjective

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Ga·​ble ˈgā-bəl How to pronounce Gable (audio)
(William) Clark 1901–1960 American actor

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