pediment

[ped-uh-muhnt]
noun
1.
(in classical architecture) a low gable, typically triangular with a horizontal cornice and raking cornices, surmounting a colonnade, an end wall, or a major division of a façade.
2.
any imitation of this, often fancifully treated, used to crown an opening, a monument, etc., or to form part of a decorative scheme.
3.
Geology. a gently sloping rock surface at the foot of a steep slope, as of a mountain, usually thinly covered with alluvium.

Origin:
1655–65; earlier pedament, pedement, alteration, by association with Latin pēs (stem ped-) foot, of earlier peremint, perhaps an unlearned alteration of pyramid; (def 3) by construal as pedi- + -ment

pedimental [ped-uh-men-tl] , adjective
pedimented [ped-uh-men-tid, -muhn-] , adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pediment (ˈpɛdɪmənt)
 
n
1.  a low-pitched gable, esp one that is triangular, as used in classical architecture
2.  a gently sloping rock surface, formed through denudation under arid conditions
 
[C16: from obsolete periment, perhaps workman's corruption of pyramid]
 
pedi'mental
 
adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pediment
triangular part of the facade of a Gk.-style building, 1664, alteration of periment, peremint (1592), apparently a dial. garbling of pyramid, the connection perhaps being the triangular shape. Sometimes associated with ped- "foot." But L. pedamentum meant "vine-stalk, prop," and It. pedamento at the
time this word entered Eng. meant "foundation, basework, footing."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
pediment   (pěd'ə-mənt)  Pronunciation Key 
A broad, gently sloping rock surface at the base of a steeper slope such as a mountain, often covered with alluvium. Pediments are formed through the exposure of bedrock by erosional processes, such as the flow of water. Pediments are usually found in arid regions where there is little vegetation to hold the overlying soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Its fully pierced pediment resembles the strings on a harp or the ribs of a
  whale.
The entrance door and the large, triangle-shaped pediment above it are slightly
  off center.
The facade is accented by a slightly projecting central pavilion crowned by its
  own pediment.
In addition, an original sign was removed from the broken pediment between the
  third and fourth floors.
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