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 Carvings of leering trolls loom on the lintel, warding off evil spirits. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, "The Hidden City of Myanmar," 21 Nov. 2019 Typically this lintel is set 8 to 12 inches higher than the finished fireplace opening. Real Estate, "Ask the Carpenter: Mold in the attic and trouble in the garage," 12 Sep. 2019 In many cases the ends of this steel lintel extend to the extreme ends of the chimney. Real Estate, "Ask the Carpenter: Mold in the attic and trouble in the garage," 12 Sep. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lintel

Time Traveler for lintel

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lintel

Cite this Entry

“Lintel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lintel


How to pronounce lintel (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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