• synonyms


  1. something round or circular.
  2. a small, round pane or window.
  3. a decorative plate, panel, tablet, or the like, round in form.
  4. Also rondel. Theater. a round piece of colored gelatin or glass placed over stage lights as a color medium to obtain lighting effects.
  5. Armor.
    1. a metal disk that protects the armpit.
    2. a metal disk on a hafted weapon or a dagger to protect the hand.
  6. Heraldry. a small circular charge.
  7. Prosody.
    1. a rondel or rondeau.
    2. a modification of the rondeau, consisting of nine lines with two refrains.
  8. a round dance.
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Origin of roundel

1250–1300; Middle English roundele, rundel(le) < Old French rondel, derivative of rond round1 (adj.)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for roundel

Historical Examples of roundel

  • He pipeth, weary wretch and worn, A roundel shrill and obsolete.

    Enamels and Cameos and other Poems

    Thophile Gautier

  • The one certain example is the Roundel included in the Parl.

  • This is the "roundel" sung by the birds "to do Nature honour and plesaunce."

    English Verse

    Raymond MacDonald Alden, Ph.D.

  • The fountain is a roundel charged with waves of white and blue.

  • Term applied to the well-known carving of the roundel common in the Ionic style.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

British Dictionary definitions for roundel


  1. a form of rondeau consisting of three stanzas each of three lines with a refrain after the first and the third
  2. a circular identifying mark in national colours on military aircraft
  3. a small ornamental circular window, panel, medallion, plate, disc, etc
  4. a round plate of armour used to protect the armpit
  5. heraldry a charge in the shape of a circle
  6. another word for roundelay (def. 1)
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Word Origin for roundel

C13: from Old French rondel a little circle; see rondel
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 roundel


late 13c., "a circle," from Old French rondel "round dance; dance lyric; roundel," from rond "round" (see round (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper