1. Uppermost division of a Classical entablature.
2. Crowning projecting moulded horizontal top of a building or some part of a building, such as a pedestal (where it is the cap), or a wall. In the latter case it is called a wall-cornice or cornicione (if very large and crowning the main façade of e.g. a palazzo). It is an eaves-cornice if it occurs where a roof overhangs a wall and forms eaves with a Classical moulding, or a crown-moulding if at the junction of an internal wall and ceiling. A cornice continuing around a corner or in a different direction is a cornice return, and one faced with e.g. terracotta or some other material is an encased cornice. On a pediment the cornices are differentiated as raking if on the sloping sides. A block-cornice is a wall-cornice with very simple blocks instead of modillions projecting from rudimentary bed-mouldings.
cor·nice / ˈkôrnis/ • n. 1. an ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling. ∎ a horizontal molded projection crowning a building or structure, esp. the uppermost member of the entablature of an order, surmounting the frieze.2. an overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice.DERIVATIVES: cor·niced adj.cor·nic·ing n.