the hock of an animal, especially of a horse.
Also called gambrel stick. a wood or metal device for suspending a slaughtered animal.

1540–50; < Old North French gamberel, akin to French jambier legging, jambe leg Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gambrel (ˈɡæmbrəl)
1.  the hock of a horse or similar animal
2.  a frame of wood or metal shaped like a horse's hind leg, used by butchers for suspending carcasses of meat
3.  short for gambrel roof
[C16: from Old Northern French gamberel, from gambe leg]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"hipped roof," 1851, short for gambrel roof, so called for its shape, from gambrel "horse's hind leg," earlier (1547) "wooden bar to hang carcasses," from O.N.Fr. gamberel, from gambe "leg," from L.L. gamba (see gambol).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Insert an end of the gambrel into each of the slits.
The house is a one-and-one-half story, gambrel roofed, single clad frame
The barn has a gambrel roof with two differing pitches, and an attractive hay
The gambrel roof has a large center ridge and a cross-gabled cupola with
  shutter vents adds character.
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