new·​el | \ ˈnü-əl How to pronounce newel (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Definition of newel

1 : an upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind
2 : a post at the foot of a straight stairway or one at a landing

Illustration of newel

Illustration of newel

newel 2

Examples of newel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To give your stairs a simple facelift, consider replacing the newel (the vertical support at the center of a circular staircase or the post that supports a handrail at the bottom of a straight staircase) to anchor the landing. Caitlin Sole, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Aug. 2022 Its handrails, designed by local artists David and Eli Hess, are made of 129 balusters and newel posts, some new and some reclaimed from other buildings, but each different. Chris Kaltenbach,, 17 Nov. 2019 Even the circular staircase in the Wagner House—intact, despite an addition that doubled the house’s size—has the narrow paneling wrapping around a rustic log newel post. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, 9 Aug. 2018 Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, intricate spindles, newel posts and columns were all spun by the thousands on mechanical lathes, then offered in catalogs to prospective owners. Steve Carney,, 16 June 2018 The owner used his highest end fixtures in the home. Don't miss the amazing door hardware throughout or the Aurora newel post lamp. Elizabeth Finkelstein, Country Living, 5 Feb. 2018 Fortunately, original features were preserved underneath these midcentury materials, and torn out moldings, mantels, balusters, newels, pilasters and built-in cabinets were found in scrap piles in the basement. Janet Eastman,, 5 Feb. 2018 The coffered ceiling has a new color scheme accented by torchiere lamps beaming up from the balcony's newel posts. Janelle Gelfand And Mark Wert,, 1 Oct. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'newel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of newel

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for newel

Middle English nowell, from Anglo-French nuel, noel stone of a fruit, stone cut to form a newel, from Late Latin nucalis like a nut, from Latin nuc-, nux nut — more at nut

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Time Traveler for newel

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

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Dictionary Entries Near newel

New Egyptian


newel stair

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Newel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for newel


new·​el | \ ˈnü-əl How to pronounce newel (audio) , ˈnyü- \

Kids Definition of newel

: a post at the bottom or at a turn of a stairway

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