any of various objects or spaces of crescentlike or semicircular outline or section.
Architecture. (in the plane of a wall) an area enframed by an arch or vault.
a painting, sculpture, or window filling such an area.
Fortification. a work consisting of a salient angle with two flanks and an open gorge.
Ordnance. a towing ring in the trail plate of a towed vehicle, as a gun carriage.
Ecclesiastical. Luna(def 3).

Origin of lunette

1570–80; < French, diminutive of lune moon < Latin lūna; see -ette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lunette

Historical Examples of lunette

  • Only on Sans Quartier's cabbage-patch the lunette now stood complete.

    Fort Amity

    Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • It seems that there was a lunette over the top, containing a Pietà.

    Luca Signorelli

    Maud Cruttwell

  • The archbishop fell to the ground, as did the lunette of the monstrance.

  • This work has a lunette which is generally, and I suppose correctly, ascribed to Gaudenzio.

    Ex Voto

    Samuel Bulter

  • The lunette, however, was evidently painted by the Limbourgs.

British Dictionary definitions for lunette



anything that is shaped like a crescent
an oval or circular opening to admit light in a dome
a semicircular panel containing a window, mural, or sculpture
a ring attached to a vehicle, into which a hook is inserted so that it can be towed
a type of fortification like a detached bastion
Also called: lune RC Church a case fitted with a bracket to hold the consecrated host

Word Origin for lunette

C16: from French: crescent, from lune moon, from Latin lūna
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 lunette

1570s, "semi-circular horseshoe," from Middle French lunette (13c.), literally "little moon," diminutive of lune "moon," from Latin luna (see luna). Later applied to a wide range of objects and ornamentations resembling a crescent moon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper