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 Two decades before that, the Art Institute of Chicago returned a lintel that had disappeared from the Phanom Rung temple in the 1960s. Jennifer Lu, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2021 In 1966, the same year the Asian Art Museum opened, Brundage bought the Nong Hong lintel from a London auction house for $15,000, according to museum records. Jennifer Lu, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2021 The central horseshoe made of trilithons (two upright stones topped by a lintel) and the surrounding outer ring of stones were completed around 2500 B.C. National Geographic, 12 Nov. 2020 In the picture, the bottom surface of the lintel looks fine. Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2020 The concrete lintel over one of our front windows has cracked. Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2020 One of the trilithons (arch-like structures made of two upright stones supporting a horizontal lintel stone) in the central horseshoe fell down in 1797. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 30 July 2020 Carvings of leering trolls loom on the lintel, warding off evil spirits. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, 21 Nov. 2019 Typically this lintel is set 8 to 12 inches higher than the finished fireplace opening. Real Estate, 12 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for lintel

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lintel

lint bells



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Cite this Entry

“Lintel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on lintel

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


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