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[gam-bruh l] /ˈgæm brəl/
the hock of an animal, especially of a horse.
Also called gambrel stick. a wood or metal device for suspending a slaughtered animal.
Origin of gambrel
1540-50; < Old North French gamberel, akin to French jambier legging, jambe leg Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gambrel
  • 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 residence.
  • The barn has a gambrel roof with two differing pitches, and an attractive hay dormer.
  • One-story gambrel-roofed ell at rear, continued by shed.
  • The gambrel roof has a large center ridge and a cross-gabled cupola with shutter vents adds character.
  • The barn is two stories with a gambrel roof, and board and batten siding.
  • After the silo shells were erected which took less than two weeks and encircled by metal hoops, gambrel roofs were added.
British Dictionary definitions for gambrel


the hock of a horse or similar animal
a frame of wood or metal shaped like a horse's hind leg, used by butchers for suspending carcasses of meat
short for gambrel roof
Word Origin
C16: from Old Northern French gamberel, from gambe leg
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 gambrel

"hipped roof," 1851, short for gambrel roof, so called for its shape, from gambrel "horse's hind leg" (c.1600), earlier "wooden bar to hang carcasses" (1540s), perhaps from Old North French gamberel, from gambe "leg," from Late Latin gamba (see gambol).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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