Recent Examples of mantel from the Web
These were very popular for mantel displays, with the brass clock adding a practical touch.
The 11,821 square feet of living space was designed by former White House decorator Michael Smith and features reclaimed fireplace mantels, hand-hewn hardwood floors and custom ironwork.
The 33-feet-by-14-feet family room on the first floor has wide floorboards and an imposing fireplace with a concrete mantel and marble surround.
Elite companies like Amazon and Google may be shamed out of contributing to our dystopia, but the result may simply be a glitchier Big Brother from a second-rate company willing to shoulder the mantel.
But this is the tip of the iceberg: The online-only home goods retailer, the largest of its kind, sells more than 10 million items, from beds and coffee tables to chicken coops and fireplace mantels.
Sitting on the living room mantel is a frame with two portraits of Greg Kenney.
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.
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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