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[man-tl] /ˈmæn tl/
a construction framing the opening of a fireplace and usually covering part of the chimney breast in a more or less decorative manner.
Also called mantelshelf. a shelf above a fireplace opening.
Also, mantle.
Also called mantelpiece
[man-tl-pees] /ˈmæn tlˌpis/ (Show IPA),
Origin of mantel
1480-90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle
Can be confused
mantel, mantle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mantel
  • Moment later, and everything was under the fog's mantel.
  • The mantel is a natural spot for owls of all sizes to perch among manzanita branches.
  • The living room has built-in shelves and a fireplaces with a marble mantel.
  • Each designer's mantel is already heavy with awards, and the work all five are nominated for is invariably fantastic.
British Dictionary definitions for mantel


a wooden or stone frame around the opening of a fireplace, together with its decorative facing
Also called mantel shelf. a shelf above this frame
Word Origin
C15: from French, variant of mantle
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 mantel

c.1200, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1520s. Meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1510s, a shortened form of Middle English mantiltre "mantletree" (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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