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escritoire

[es-kri-twahr] /ˌɛs krɪˈtwɑr/
noun
1.
writing desk (def 1).
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < French, Middle French < Latin scrīptōrium. See scribe1, -tory2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for escritoire

escritoire

/ˌɛskrɪˈtwɑː/
noun
1.
a writing desk with compartments and drawers, concealed by a hinged flap, on a chest of drawers or plain stand
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Medieval Latin scriptōrium writing room in a monastery, from Latin scrībere to write
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for escritoire
n.

1706, from French écritoire (12c.), from Late Latin scriptorium (see scriptorium).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for escritoire

a writing desk fitted with drawers, one of which can be pulled out and the front lowered to provide a flat writing surface. There are many variations to this basic design. Early versions, which appeared in France in the first half of the 18th century, were made in one piece divided into two sections. The lower section consisted of a cupboard compartment closed in by solid or sliding doors that sometimes concealed a set of drawers; in some cases, however, the drawers were open to view. The upper section included a drop front that, when lowered, provided the writing surface and revealed an inner section fitted with various receptacles (such as pigeonholes, drawers, and recesses) for ink, paper, documents, and the like. Although this type persisted, a number of variations occurred, such as the addition of mirror doors above the upper, drop-front section and, later, the insertion of a space in the lower part of the secretary to accommodate the knees of the writer, the drawers being divided into two sections on either side of the arched recess.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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