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or spandril

[span-druh l] /ˈspæn drəl/
Architecture. an area between the extradoses of two adjoining arches, or between the extrados of an arch and a perpendicular through the extrados at the springing line.
(in a steel-framed building) a panellike area between the head of a window on one level and the sill of a window immediately above.
Philately. the decoration occupying the space at the corner of a stamp between the border and an oval or circular central design.
Origin of spandrel
1470-80; earlier spaundrell, probably < Anglo-French spaundre, itself perhaps cognate with Old French espandre to expand Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for spandrel
Historical Examples
  • The upper one is a spandrel piece from the traceried arcading of the stalls.

    Wood-Carving George Jack
  • For the arches and spandrel walls the gravel was passed over a 2-in.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • German clocks had this device of the cherub's head, but not in the spandrel.

    Chats on Old Clocks Arthur Hayden
  • "I'm afraid I don't know what a spandrel is," Christopher announced with appealing frankness.

  • It stands upon a label, whose folds fill up the rest of the spandrel.

  • The finial is a three-quarter figure, and an angel occupies the spandrel between the arch and the label.

  • The front of the portico was completed as far as the spandrel of the first arch, but the outer dome was left unfinished.

    Montreal 1535-1914, Volume II (of 2) William Henry Atherton
  • The derrick was used to handle material excavated from the pier foundations and also to tear down the centers and spandrel forms.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • In the spandrel are constantly seen serrated leaves, rosettes, and designs peculiar to the Ladik.

    Oriental Rugs Walter A. Hawley
  • Figure 157 is a part sectional plan and elevation of the bridge, showing both the main and spandrel arch construction.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
British Dictionary definitions for spandrel


noun (architect)
an approximately triangular surface bounded by the outer curve of an arch and the adjacent wall
the surface area between two adjacent arches and the horizontal cornice above them
Word Origin
C15 spaundrell, from Anglo-French spaundre spandrel, from Old French spandre to spread, expand
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 spandrel

late 15c., "triangular space between the outer curves of an arch," apparently a diminutive of Anglo-French spaundre (late 14c.), perhaps a shortening of espandre "to expand, extend," from Latin expandre (see expand).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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