or man·tle



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.

Origin of mantel

1480–90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle
Also called man·tel·piece [man-tl-pees] /ˈmæn tlˌpis/, mantlepiece.
Can be confusedmantel mantle Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for mantel

mantelpiece, chimneypiece, fireboard, mantelshelf

Examples from the Web for mantel

Contemporary Examples of mantel

Historical Examples of mantel

  • I leaned against the mantel, relieved by his going, but unutterably lonely.

  • Then he leaned his arm on the mantel and bowed his head on it.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • She stood there under the mantel, and held by it while she trembled.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • She had risen with him, and they were both standing beside the mantel.

  • She rose and glanced at herself in the mirror which hung over the mantel.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

British Dictionary definitions for mantel


less commonly mantle


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

Word Origin and History for mantel

c.1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s. Meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1510s, a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantletree" (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper