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[ash-ler] /ˈæʃ lər/
  1. a squared building stone cut more or less true on all faces adjacent to those of other stones so as to permit very thin mortar joints.
  2. such stones collectively.
  3. masonry made of them.
Carpentry. a short stud between joists and sloping rafters, especially near the eaves.
verb (used with object)
to face with ashlars.
Origin of ashlar
1325-75; Middle English ascheler < Middle French aissel(i)er < Latin axillāris, equivalent to axill(a) (axis board, plank, axis1 + -illa diminutive suffix) + -āris -ar1; cf. -ar2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ashlar
  • The interior walls are rough-cut ashlar stone, which are dressed at the windows.
  • The ashlar stonework of the complex is of exceptionally good quality with the names of the buildings inscribed in the stonework.
  • The tower is visually divided into four stages by smooth-polished stone belt courses that contrast with the rough ashlar.
  • ashlar masonry laid in courses of stone set without continuous joints and laid up without drawn patterns.
  • The walls consist of smooth and rockfaced granite ashlar.
  • On the main block, the stucco is scored to resemble coursed ashlar masonry.
  • The walls of the main portion of the cabin are clad in coursed ashlar cut from local limestone.
  • The foundation is ashlar stone with a dressed water table on the north and east sides.
  • Coursed ashlar marble covers the three-story walls and the gabled roof is copper.
  • It is a two-story brick structure over an exposed ashlar stone foundation.
British Dictionary definitions for ashlar


a block of hewn stone with straight edges for use in building
Also called ashlar veneer. a thin dressed stone with straight edges, used to face a wall
masonry made of ashlar
Word Origin
C14: from Old French aisselier crossbeam, from ais board, from Latin axis axletree; see axis1
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
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Word Origin and History for ashlar

late 14c., "square stone for building or paving," from Old French aiseler, from Latin axillaris, from axilla, diminutive of axis "board, plank," which is perhaps not the same axis that means "axle." The stone sense is peculiar to English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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