[ kawr-nis ]
See synonyms for cornice on
  1. Architecture.

    • any prominent, continuous, horizontally projecting feature surmounting a wall or other construction, or dividing it horizontally for compositional purposes.

    • the uppermost member of a classical entablature, consisting of a bed molding, a corona, and a cymatium, with rows of dentils, modillions, etc., often placed between the bed molding and the corona.

  2. any of various other ornamental horizontal moldings or bands, as for concealing hooks or rods from which curtains are hung or for supporting picture hooks.

  1. a mass of snow, ice, etc., projecting over a mountain ridge.

verb (used with object),cor·niced, cor·nic·ing.
  1. to furnish or finish with a cornice.

Origin of cornice

1555–65; <Italian: literally, crow (<Latin cornix); for the meaning, compare Greek korṓnē crow, crown

Words Nearby cornice Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cornice in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cornice


/ (ˈkɔːnɪs) /

  1. architect

    • the top projecting mouldings of an entablature

    • a continuous horizontal projecting course or moulding at the top of a wall, building, etc

  2. an overhanging ledge of snow formed by the wind on the edge of a mountain ridge, cliff, or corrie

  1. (tr) architect to furnish or decorate with or as if with a cornice

Origin of cornice

C16: from Old French, from Italian, perhaps from Latin cornix crow, but influenced also by Latin corōnis decorative flourish used by scribes, from Greek korōnis, from korōnē curved object, crown

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