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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
Historical Examples
  • On and still on I sped, the big, bright pumpkin slipping up and down the gambrel of my spirited horse at every jump.

  • It has a gambrel roof, and is on the left when the train is going westward.

    Whittier-land Samuel T. Pickard
  • The next roof-form, built from early colonial days, and popular a century ago, was what was known as the gambrel roof.

    Home Life in Colonial Days Alice Morse Earle
  • I turned about, and, addressing gambrel earnestly, entreated him to "hang on to the wheel."

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • The building itself is a stern, dignified, two-story house with a gambrel roof.

    Historic Homes Mary H. Northend
  • The opposite end is very different, and has a hipped or gambrel gable.

  • gambrel, gam′brel, n. the hock of a horse: a crooked stick used by butchers for suspending a carcass while dressing it.

  • The gambrel or Octagonal Roof, and consists of two eight and two nine inch boards thirty-four inches long.

    The Boy Craftsman A. Neely Hall
  • And often those with the gambrel prolonged the strain, being provokingly slow, in hopes to make the holder drop his burden.

    Lincoln's Yarns and Stories Alexander K. McClure
  • The house, a two-story wooden building with a gambrel roof, is still standing .

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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