Recent Examples of mantel from the Web
More Michigan House Envy: The unusual fireplace wall here has no mantel.
The prints are by Sol LeWitt (left) and Robert Ryman (above mantel), and the walls are in Overcoat by Benjamin Moore.
The formal living room has west-facing windows, a fireplace with a cast-stone mantel, floor-to-ceiling double pane windows and French doors with direct outdoor access.
In assortment of hand blown vases by William Gudenrath are displayed on the master bedroom’s original mantel.
The fireplace has a two-story stone facade and the wooden mantel was laser cut by an artist in Montana with an intricate scene of deer grazing among evergreens.
The living room’s sectional is by Living Divani, the side table is by Jean Louis Iratzoki for Retegui, the vintage sconces are Italian, the mirror and mantel are original, and the leather Simon Hasan vase is from the Future Perfect.
Then there were the weathered railroad ties that Melissa tracked down and England repurposed into fireplace mantels in both houses.
Decorate the 1895 Victorian Mansion, the Old Louisville Tree and museum mantels; also refreshments and tour of the house.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mantel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
mantle vs. mantel
Keeping mantel and mantle straight is relatively simple.
Mantel in modern English largely does one job: it refers to the shelf above a fireplace. You can remember it by thinking of the "el" in both mantel and shelf.
Mantle on the other hand, does many jobs, including a number that are technical or scientific. Its most common uses are to refer to a literal cloak, mostly of the kind worn in days of yore ("she drew her mantle tighter"), and to a figurative cloak symbolizing authority or importance ("taking on the mantle of the museum's directorship"). It also refers to a general covering in literary uses like "wet earth covered in a mantle of leaves" or "a past shrouded in a mantle of secrecy." And it's also the term for the middle layer of the Earth between the crust and the inner core.
There is, however, a catch to these distinctions: mantle is sometimes used (especially in American English) to refer to the shelf above a fireplace as well—that is, as a synonym of mantel.
This isn't terribly surprising, given the histories of the words. They both derive from the Latin word mantellum, which refers both to a cloak and to a beam or stone supporting the masonry above a fireplace. The words came into use in English a couple centuries apart, but were for a time in the past nothing more than spelling variants.
While it's certainly simpler to use mantle in all cases, mantel is significantly more common as the choice for the shelf, which means it's the safer choice in those cases.
MANTEL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of mantel for English Language Learners
: the shelf above a fireplace
MANTEL Defined for Kids
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