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[kleer-stawr-ee, -stohr-ee] /ˈklɪərˌstɔr i, -ˌstoʊr i/
noun, plural clerestories.
Architecture. a portion of an interior rising above adjacent rooftops and having windows admitting daylight to the interior.
a raised construction, as on the roof of a railroad car, having windows or slits for admitting light or air.
Also, clearstory.
Origin of clerestory
1375-1425; late Middle English, equivalent to clere clear + story story2
Related forms
clerestoried, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for clerestory
  • Sawtooth roofs are essentially as series of clerestory windows, or sloped roof monitors, facing the same direction.
  • clerestory windows bring natural light into the high-ceilinged lobby.
  • Karin then described the clerestory windows at the tops of the walls.
  • clerestory windows gather north light and transmit it into living area.
  • Large expanses of glazing were minimized on the south and west facades, and clerestory windows were oriented to the north.
  • The dayrooms have a raised, sloping ceiling and clerestory area.
  • Windows in the clerestory provide natural light into the dayrooms and, through transoms, into each bedroom.
  • The open-plan offices are in areas that are drenched with natural lighting provided by clerestory windows in the roof.
  • All four elevations of the clerestory contain a continuous ribbon of windows.
  • clerestory roofs and add-on sections of expandable manufactured homes shall have provisions for vertical ties at the exposed ends.
British Dictionary definitions for clerestory


noun (pl) -ries
a row of windows in the upper part of the wall of a church that divides the nave from the aisle, set above the aisle roof
the part of the wall in which these windows are set Compare blindstorey
Derived Forms
clerestoried, clearstoried, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from clear + storey
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 clerestory

early 15c., probably from clere "clear," in a sense "light, lighted" (see clear (adj.)), and story (n.2), though this sense of that word is not otherwise found so early. Originally the upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a large church; so called because pierced with windows. Related: Clerestorial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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