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[pur-lin] /ˈpɜr lɪn/
a longitudinal member in a roof frame, usually for supporting common rafters or the like between the plate and the ridge.
Origin of purlin
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English purlyn, purloyne, akin to Anglo-Latin perliō; of uncertain origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for purlin
  • The panels have a purlin bearing leg on the underlap leg of the panel.
  • The fasteners shall be located at each steel purlin.
  • He stepped on a purlin, an accepted industry practice, and it completely separated from its supporting members at each end.
  • The heavy strapping fastened across the bent will act as jibs for tackle used later to raise the purlin and wall plates.
  • Compliance with requirements for purlin and rafter conditions, including flatness and attachment to structural members.
British Dictionary definitions for purlin


a horizontal beam that provides intermediate support for the common rafters of a roof construction
Word Origin
C15: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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