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[moh-dil-yuh n, muh-] /moʊˈdɪl yən, mə-/
noun, Architecture
an ornamental cantilever beneath the corona or similar member of a cornice, stringcourse, etc.
Origin of modillion
1555-65; < Italian modiglione < Vulgar Latin *mutiliōnem, variant of *mūtuliōnem, accusative of *mūtuliō. See mutule, -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for modillion
  • Above the columns is a sheet metal cornice with dentils and modillion blocks.
  • The cornice is prominently marked with a dentil molding and regularly spaced modillion blocks.
  • The modillion block cornice of the building is surmounted by a marble balustrade.
  • The pediment contains a steeply raked cornice with heavy stone modillion blocks.
  • The eave cornice of the gable roof is boxed and decorated with carved modillion blocks and fretwork.
  • The portico is not centered on the facade and has a full entablature with modillion blocks.
  • The gables feature modillion raking cornices and cornices.
  • The large drawing room to the right or east features a paneled dado, modillion cornice, and projecting paneled chimney piece.
  • The whole is covered with a clipped gable roof with a standing-seam sheet metal surface and modillion cornice.
  • The roof cornice of the main portion is decorated with carved modillion blocks and a dentiled bed molding and has gable returns.
British Dictionary definitions for modillion


(architect) one of a set of ornamental brackets under a cornice, esp as used in the Corinthian order Compare mutule
Word Origin
C16: via French from Italian modiglione, probably from Vulgar Latin mutiliō (unattested), from Latin mūtulusmutule
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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