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mantel

or mantle

[man-tl] /ˈmæn tl/
noun
1.
a construction framing the opening of a fireplace and usually covering part of the chimney breast in a more or less decorative manner.
2.
Also called mantelshelf. a shelf above a fireplace opening.
Also called mantelpiece
[man-tl-pees] /ˈmæn tlˌpis/ (Show IPA),
mantlepiece.
Origin of mantel
1480-1490
1480-90; earlier mantell mantelet; variant of mantle
Can be confused
mantel, mantle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mantelpiece
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Rodney falls back, and with an oath staggers against the mantelpiece.

    Mrs. Geoffrey Duchess
  • Somehow or other his eyes wandered to a picture that rested on a mantelpiece in the room.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • When we returned to New York he had the little print framed, and kept it always on his mantelpiece.

  • I might sweep and wash off the stove, and—and clean off the mantelpiece.

  • Her bundle was a large one, and took some time to get through; and then the cards had all to be arranged on the mantelpiece.

  • George Featherly, standing with his back to the mantelpiece, smiled unkindly.

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for mantelpiece

mantelpiece

/ˈmæntəlˌpiːs/
noun
1.
Also called mantel shelf, chimneypiece. a shelf above a fireplace often forming part of the mantel
2.
another word for mantel (sense 1)

mantel

/ˈmæntəl/
noun
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
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 mantelpiece
n.

1680s, from mantel + piece (n.).

mantel

n.

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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