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or mantle

[man-tl] /ˈmæn tl/
a construction framing the opening of a fireplace and usually covering part of the chimney breast in a more or less decorative manner.
Also called mantelshelf. a shelf above a fireplace opening.
Also called mantelpiece
[man-tl-pees] /ˈmæn tlˌpis/ (Show IPA),
Origin of mantel
1480-90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle
Can be confused
mantel, mantle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mantel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I leaned against the mantel, relieved by his going, but unutterably lonely.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Then he leaned his arm on the mantel and bowed his head on it.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • She stood there under the mantel, and held by it while she trembled.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • She had risen with him, and they were both standing beside the mantel.

  • She rose and glanced at herself in the mirror which hung over the mantel.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
British Dictionary definitions for mantel


a wooden or stone frame around the opening of a fireplace, together with its decorative facing
Also called mantel shelf. a shelf above this frame
Word Origin
C15: from French, variant of mantle
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 mantel

c.1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s. Meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1510s, a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantletree" (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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