lin·​tel | \ ˈlin-tᵊl How to pronounce lintel (audio) \

Definition of lintel

: a horizontal architectural member spanning and usually carrying the load above an opening

Illustration of lintel

Illustration of lintel

1 lintel

Examples of lintel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The tomb owner's name might be carved on the lintel over the tomb's door, but that hasn't been excavated yet. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 The mason's marks carved into the quarry-stone lintels are stick figures and feather arrows, suggesting a pre-literate group of stone workers. Mark Stevenson, Fox News, "Experts restore what might be oldest house in Mexico," 12 Sep. 2018 Much about the city’s building-safety rules have changed since that May day when Grace Gold was killed by a 1-by-2 foot chunk of concrete lintel that came crashing down from 601 West 115th Street, a university building. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "Columbia University Is Cited for a Cracked Building Facade, Inviting Memories of a 1979 Death," 4 June 2018 The imposing brick building featured an ornate white archway and lintel over the entrance, and balconies for each unit., "Meghan Markle's surprising Cleveland connection: The Royal Wedding," 8 May 2018 Similarly, a lintel uncovered during the excavation explores the lineage of another woman of high rank, Adatalabe, who counts a royal prince among her blood line. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Large Cache of Texts May Offer Insight Into One of Africa’s Oldest Written Languages," 13 Apr. 2018 One of the more interesting new finds from the dig is a lintel, or structural beam from a chapel with a depiction of Maat, the Egyptian goddess of order, equity, and peace. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Large Cache of Texts May Offer Insight Into One of Africa’s Oldest Written Languages," 13 Apr. 2018 The facade has brick and red sandstone from Lake Superior, with a carved terra-cotta lintel and fluted iron pilasters. Michael Pollak, New York Times, "A Highway’s Starting Line, and a Flemish Firehouse," 8 July 2016 A wood lintel with faux painted stones on the sides decorates the entrance, and a mural depicting the Provence area of France is painted on the pocket doors. Lisa Mclean,, "Custom-built Victorian home in Annapolis features unusual touches," 16 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lintel.' 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 lintel

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lintel

Middle English, from Anglo-French *lintel, alteration of linter threshold, from Late Latin limitaris, from Latin, constituting a boundary, from limit-, limes boundary

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Dictionary Entries near lintel



lint bells





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Time Traveler for lintel

The first known use of lintel was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lintel



English Language Learners Definition of lintel

: a piece of wood or stone that lies across the top of a door or window and holds the weight of the structure above it


lin·​tel | \ ˈlin-tᵊl How to pronounce lintel (audio) \

Kids Definition of lintel

: a horizontal piece or part across the top of an opening (as of a door) to carry the weight of the structure above it

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More from Merriam-Webster on lintel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lintel

Spanish Central: Translation of lintel

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

Comments on lintel

What made you want to look up lintel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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