• synonyms


[kleer-stawr-ee, -stohr-ee]
noun, plural clear·sto·ries.
  1. clerestory.
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Related formsclear·sto·ried, adjective


or clear·sto·ry

[kleer-stawr-ee, -stohr-ee]
noun, plural clere·sto·ries.
  1. Architecture. a portion of an interior rising above adjacent rooftops and having windows admitting daylight to the interior.
  2. a raised construction, as on the roof of a railroad car, having windows or slits for admitting light or air.
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Origin of clerestory

1375–1425; late Middle English, equivalent to clere clear + story story2
Related formsclere·sto·ried, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for clearstory

Historical Examples

  • By 1504 the clearstory windows of the nave were all in place.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals

    Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly

  • The panelling beneath the clearstory is richer than that in the nave.

  • We have no record of the building of the clearstory 62and roof of the nave.

  • The highest windows are those of the clearstory, which is the upper part of the central nave, in this case the nave of the choir.

  • Clearstory: That part of the nave which rises above the aisle roofs, and has windows to light the interior.

British Dictionary definitions for clearstory


  1. a variant spelling of clerestory
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Derived Formsclearstoried, adjective



noun plural -ries
  1. a row of windows in the upper part of the wall of a church that divides the nave from the aisle, set above the aisle roof
  2. the part of the wall in which these windows are setCompare blindstorey
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Derived Formsclerestoried or clearstoried, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from clear + storey
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

Word Origin and History for clearstory



early 15c., probably from clere "clear," in a sense "light, lighted" (see clear (adj.)), and story (n.2), though this sense of that word is not otherwise found so early. Originally the upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a large church; so called because pierced with windows. Related: Clerestorial.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper