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[sof-it] /ˈsɒf ɪt/
noun, Architecture.
the underside of an architectural feature, as a beam, arch, ceiling, vault, or cornice.
Origin of soffit
1605-15; < French soffite < Italian soffitto < Vulgar Latin *suffīctus, for Latin suffīxus; see suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for soffit


the underside of a part of a building or a structural component, such as an arch, beam, stair, etc
Also called crown, vertex. the upper inner surface of a drain or sewer Compare invert (sense 6)
Word Origin
C17: via French from Italian soffitto, from Latin suffixus something fixed underneath, from suffīgere, from sub- under + fīgere to fasten
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 soffit

architectural term referring to under-faces, 1610s, from Italian soffita, fem. of soffitto "ceiling," noun use of adjective meaning "fixed beneath," from Vulgar Latin *suffictus "fastened below," from Latin suffixus (see suffix (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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