• synonyms


[kawr-buh l]Architecture
  1. any bracket, especially one of brick or stone, usually of slight extent.
  2. a short horizontal timber supporting a girder.
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verb (used with object), cor·beled, cor·bel·ing or (especially British) cor·belled, cor·bel·ling.
  1. to set (bricks, stones, etc.) so as to form a corbel or corbels (usually followed by out).
  2. to support by means of a corbel or corbels.
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Origin of corbel

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Medieval Latin corvellus, equivalent to Latin corv(us) raven1 + -ellus diminutive suffix


noun Architecture.
  1. the construction of corbels.
  2. a system of corbels.
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Also especially British, cor·bel·ling.

Origin of corbeling

First recorded in 1540–50; corbel + -ing1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for corbelling

Historical Examples of corbelling

  • The parapet and corbelling were renewed about forty years ago.

    Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys

    Dugald Butler and Herbert Story

  • The chambers are built of upright slabs and are roofed by corbelling.

  • Buildings in which this system is used are occasionally roofed with slabs, but more often corbelling is employed.

  • The chamber is circular, and roofed partly by corbelling and partly by a large slab.

  • In the passage the roof is of slabs laid right across, but the roof of the chamber is formed by corbelling.

British Dictionary definitions for corbelling


US corbeling

  1. a set of corbels stepped outwards, one above another
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  1. Also called: truss a bracket, usually of stone or brick
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verb -bels, -belling or -belled or US -bels, -beling or -beled
  1. (tr) to lay (a stone or brick) so that it forms a corbel
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Word Origin for corbel

C15: from Old French, literally: a little raven, from Medieval Latin corvellus, from Latin corvus raven
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 corbelling



mid-14c., from Old French corbel, diminutive of corb "raven," from Latin corvus (see raven); so called from its beaked shape.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper