"top storey under the roof of a house," 1855, shortened from attic storey
(1724). The term Attic order
in classical architecture meant a small, square decorative column of the type often used in a low storey above a building's main facade, a feature associated with the region around Athens (see Attic
). The word then was applied to "a low decorative facade above the main story of a building" (1690s), and it came to mean the space enclosed by such a structure. The modern use is via Fr. attique.
"An attic is upright, a garret is in a sloping roof" [Weekley].