or man·tle

[ man-tl ]
/ ˈmæn tl /
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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.
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Also called man·tel·piece [man-tl-pees], /ˈmæn tlˌpis/, mantlepiece.

Origin of mantel

1480–90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle


mantel , mantle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does mantel mean?

A mantel is the frame around the opening of a fireplace.

Mantel also commonly refers to a shelf above the fireplace (which may or may not be attached to the other kind of mantel). This shelf can also be called a mantelshelf.

Both senses of mantel can also be spelled mantle. (The word mantle has many other meanings.)

Synonyms for mantel include mantlepiece, mantelboard, and chimneypiece.

Example: This mantel will need to be replaced since the wood is rotting, but the fireplace itself looks solid.

Where does mantel come from?

The first records of the word mantel come from the late 1400s. It’s a variant of the word mantle, which is recorded before 900 and ultimately derives from the Latin mantellum, from mantum, meaning “coat” or “cloak.”

A mantel can be thought of as a kind of protective coat for a fireplace. Mantels were once often extensions of the manteltree, a large piece of wood or stone that went above a fireplace to support the structure. Today, though, most mantels are decorative, meaning they’re not a structural element of the fireplace or chimney. Instead, they’re simply constructed over top. Mantels are usually made of wood or stone.

The kind of mantel that’s a shelf above the fireplace is often a place where people display photos, clocks, and decorative objects. People who celebrate Christmas often hang stockings from this mantel.

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What are some other forms related to mantel?

What are some synonyms for mantel?

What are some words that share a root or word element with mantel

What are some words that often get used in discussing mantel?

How is mantel used in real life?

Mantel is perhaps most commonly used to refer to the shelf above a fireplace.



Try using mantel!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym for mantel

A. mantlepiece
B. chimneypiece
C. chimney
D. mantelboard

How to use mantel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mantel


less commonly mantle

/ (ˈmæntəl) /

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 for mantel

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