AskDefine | Define gambrel

Dictionary Definition

gambrel n : a gable roof with two slopes on each side and the lower slope being steeper [syn: gambrel roof]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A bar, usually metal, with a central loop and a hook at each end, used to hang a carcass for butchering.

Extensive Definition

A gambrel (also known as a Dutch gambrel) is a usually symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle while the lower slope is quite steep. This design provides the advantages of a sloped roof while maximizing head space on the building's upper level. The name comes from the Medieval Latin word gamba meaning hoof, or leg of an animal.
The gambrel roof is associated with Colonial architecture, and particularly Dutch Colonial.
It is not uncommon for a gambrel roof to be referred to as a Mansard roof, although the more precise usage of the terms gambrel and Mansard is that a gambrel roof applies the two-slope idea to only two sides of the building (forming gables), whereas a Mansard roof applies the two-slope idea to all four sides of the building (forming hips). It is also not uncommon for laypeople not versed in architectural terms to refer to a gambrel roof as a barn roof (because gambrels are often mentally associated with barns).

See also

  • Mansard roof (the two-slope idea applied to all four sides of the building, forming hips rather than gables)
gambrel in Japanese: ギャンブレル屋根

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ankle, bayonet legs, bowlegs, calf, cnemis, drumstick, foreleg, gamb, gigot, ham, hind leg, hock, jamb, knee, leg, limb, podite, popliteal space, scissor-legs, shank, shin, stems, stumps, tarsus, trotters
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1