mantel piece


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] , mantlepiece.

1480–90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle

mantel, mantle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mantel or (less commonly) mantle (ˈmæntəl)
1.  a wooden or stone frame around the opening of a fireplace, together with its decorative facing
2.  Also called: mantel shelf a shelf above this frame
[C15: from French, variant of mantle]
mantle or (less commonly) mantle
[C15: from French, variant of mantle]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1489, "short, loose, sleeveless cloak," variant of mantle (q.v.). Sense of "movable shelter for soldiers besieging a fort" is from 1524. Meaning "timber or stone supporting masonry above a fireplace" first recorded 1519, a shortened form of M.E. mantiltre "mantletree" (1482).
Mantelpiece is from 1686.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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