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[kawr-buh l] /ˈkɔr bəl/ Architecture
any bracket, especially one of brick or stone, usually of slight extent.
a short horizontal timber supporting a girder.
verb (used with object), corbeled, corbeling or (especially British) corbelled, corbelling.
to set (bricks, stones, etc.) so as to form a corbel or corbels (usually followed by out).
to support by means of a corbel or corbels.
Origin of corbel
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Medieval Latin corvellus, equivalent to Latin corv(us) raven1 + -ellus diminutive suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for corbel
  • The horizontality of the building's facade is emphasized with belt courses and a corbel table beneath the cornice line.
  • The first story is separated from the second by a pronounced corbel table.
  • A corbel table is a projecting moulded string course supported by a range of corbels.
British Dictionary definitions for corbel


Also called truss. a bracket, usually of stone or brick
verb -bels, -belling, -belled (US) -bels, -beling, -beled
(transitive) to lay (a stone or brick) so that it forms a corbel
Word Origin
C15: from Old French, literally: a little raven, from Medieval Latin corvellus, from Latin corvus raven
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 corbel

mid-14c., from Old French corbel, diminutive of corb "raven," from Latin corvus (see raven); so called from its beaked shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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