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[lin-tl] /ˈlɪn tl/
a horizontal architectural member supporting the weight above an opening, as a window or a door.
Also, British, lintol.
Origin of lintel
1350-1400; Middle English lyntel < Middle French lintel, dissimilated variant of *linter < Latin līmitāris orig., belonging to or indicating a boundary; later taken as synonym of līmināris orig., of the threshold. See limit, -ar1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lintel
Historical Examples
  • He stood swaying—then leaned against the lintel of the door.

  • She was about to slam the door in my face, but I pushed my foot between it and the lintel.

    A Master of Mysteries L. T. Meade
  • He ended with a hollow groan and the weight of his body against the lintel.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • The height of the lintel should be equivalent to the width of the jambs at the top.

  • The height of the tablinum at the lintel should be one eighth more than its width.

  • She leaned on the doorway with her forehead against the lintel.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James
  • He dismissed the cab and pressed a bell in the lintel of the door.

    The Book of All-Power Edgar Wallace
  • On the lintel of the gate and in the lock dust lies accumulated.


    Znade A. Ragozin
  • A pipe of quaint design is cold upon the lintel of the lattice window.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • The lintel was low and Jennings was compelled to stoop in order to enter.

    Where the Strange Trails Go Down E. Alexander Powell
British Dictionary definitions for lintel


a horizontal beam, as over a door or window
Word Origin
C14: via Old French probably from Late Latin līmitāris (unattested) of the boundary, influenced in meaning by līminaris of the threshold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lintel

early 14c., from Old French lintel "threshold" (13c., Modern French linteau), of uncertain origin, probably a variant of lintier, from Vulgar Latin *limitaris "threshold," from Latin limitaris (adj.) "that is on the border," from limes (genitive limitis) "border, boundary" (see limit (n.)). Altered by influence of Latin limen "threshold."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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