lintel

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lin·tel / ˈlintl/ • n. a horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window. DERIVATIVES: lin·teled (Brit. lin·telled) adj.

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lintel. Beam over an aperture carrying the wall above and spanning between jambs or columns (hence post-and-lintel or trabeated construction).

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lintel XIV. — OF. lintel (mod. linteau), alt. of *linter, lintier :- Rom. *līmitāris, alt. of līmināris pert. to the threshold (used sb.), by crossing of līmes, līmit -LIMIT with līmen, līmin- threshold.

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lintel, in architecture, the horizontal member that spans an opening, such as a door or window, or that connects two columns. The post-and-lintel, or trabeated, system of construction, with spans limited to the length of available wood or stone beams, is the basis of the Egyptian and Greek styles of architecture, as contrasted with the later arched and vaulted, or arcuated, styles.