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Glossary of Architecture Terms
beginning with letter C
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cabana Tweet Definition of cabana Like Definition of cabana on Facebook
noun
  1. A shelter on a beach or at a swimming pool.
cabin Tweet Definition of cabin Like Definition of cabin on Facebook
noun
  1. A small dwelling characteristic of the frontier, especially when built from logs with simple tools and not constructed by professional builders, but by those who meant to live in it.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin.
    • 1994: "And that was how long we stayed in the , pressed together, pulling the future out of each other, sweating and groaning and making sure each of us remembered." -From Life Drawing in the collection Violet Quill, Michael Grumley
      1. A compartment on land, usually comprised of log, logs.
      2. A private room on a ship.
      The captain's .
      Passengers shall remain in their cabins.
      1. The interior of a boat, enclosed to create a small room, particularly for sleeping.
      2. The passenger area of an airplane.
cable Tweet Definition of cable Like Definition of cable on Facebook
noun
  1. A strong, large-diameter wire or rope, or something resembling such a rope.
  2. An assembly of two or more wires which are used for electrical power or data circuits; one or more may be insulated.
  1. (nautical) A heavy rope or chain used to moor or anchor a ship
  2. (communications) A system for receiving television or Internet service over coaxial or fibreoptic cables
    I tried to watch the movie last night but my cable was out.
    1. A telegram
    2. (finance) in financial markets 'cable' is used to refer to the currency pair Great British Pounds against United States Dollars
  3. (nautical) A unit of length
verbto cable
  1. To send a telegram
  2. To wrap wires to form a cable
caisson Tweet Definition of caisson Like Definition of caisson on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, caisson (engineering))
  1. an enclosure, from which water can be expelled, in order to give access to underwater areas for engineering works etc
  2. the gate across the entrance to a dry dock
  3. (nautical) a floating tank that can be submerged, attached to an underwater object and then pumped out to lift the object by buoyancy; a camel
  4. a two-wheeled, horse-drawn military vehicle used to carry ammunition (and a coffin at funerals); a large box to hold ammunition
  5. in architecture, a variant of coffer
canopy Tweet Definition of canopy Like Definition of canopy on Facebook
noun (canopies)
  1. A high cover providing shelter, such as a cloth supported above an object, particularly over a bed.
  2. The zone of the highest foliage and branches of a forest.
  3. In an airplane, the transparent cockpit cover.
  4. In a parachute, the cloth that fills with air and thus limits the speed.
cantilever Tweet Definition of cantilever Like Definition of cantilever on Facebook
noun
  1. (architecture) A beam anchored at one end and projecting into space, such as a long bracket projecting from a wall to support a balcony.
Canton Tweet Definition of Canton Like Definition of Canton on Facebook
proper noun
  1. An alternative (former) name for Guangzhou in China.
  2. An alternative (former) name for Guangdong in China.
  3. A topographical surname of French or Galician derivation
capital Tweet Definition of capital Like Definition of capital on Facebook
noun
  1. A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.
Washington D.C. is the of the United States of America.
The Welsh government claims that Cardiff is Europe"s youngest .
  1. (economics) money, Money and wealth. The means to acquire goods and services, especially in a non-barter system.
  2. An uppercase letter.
  3. (architecture) The uppermost part of a column.
adjective
  1. of prime importance
  2. (context, British) excellent
That is a idea!
  1. involving punishment by death
Not all felonies are crimes.
  1. uppercase
One begins a sentence with a letter.
cartouche Tweet Definition of cartouche Like Definition of cartouche on Facebook
noun
  1. (architecture) an ornamental figure, often on an oval shield
  2. (Egyptian hieroglyphics) an oval figure containing characters that represent the names of royal or divine people
  3. a paper cartridge
caryatid Tweet Definition of caryatid Like Definition of caryatid on Facebook
noun
  1. A sculpted female figure serving as an architectural element, used as a support for entablature.
castellated Tweet Definition of castellated Like Definition of castellated on Facebook
adjective
  1. Like a castle.
chalet Tweet Definition of chalet Like Definition of chalet on Facebook
noun
  1. an Alpine style of wooden building with a sloping roof and overhanging eaves
chamber Tweet Definition of chamber Like Definition of chamber on Facebook
noun
  1. A room, especially one used primarily for sleeping; bedroom, sleeping room.
    • 1845, w:Edgar Allen Poe, Edgar Allen Poe, s:The Raven, The Raven,
    • : Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
      Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
      While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
      As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my door.
      1. An enclosed space. For example, a test chamber is typically a closable case where devices under test are placed.
      2. In a firearm, this is the portion of the weapon that holds the ammunition round immediately prior to (and during initiation of) its discharge.
      Dianne loaded a cartridge into the of the rifle, then prepared to take aim at the target.
      1. One of the legislative bodies in a government where multiple such bodies exist, or a single such body in comparison to others.
      The resolution, which speedily passed the Senate, was unable to gain a majority in the lower .
verb
  1. To enclose in a room.
She had chambered herself in her room, and wouldn't come out.
  1. To place in a chamber, as a round of ammunition.
The hunter fired at the geese and missed, then shrugged his shoulders and chambered another cartridge.
  1. To create or modify a gun to be a specific caliber.
The rifle was originally chambered for 9MM, but had since been modified for a larger, wildcat caliber.
chancel Tweet Definition of chancel Like Definition of chancel on Facebook
noun
  1. The space around the altar in a church, often enclosed, for use by the clergy and the choir. In medieval cathedrals the chancel was usually enclosed or blocked off from the nave by an altar screen.
chateau Tweet Definition of chateau Like Definition of chateau on Facebook
noun (chateaux, pl2=chateaus)
  1. (alternative spelling of, chí¢teau)
chimney Tweet Definition of chimney Like Definition of chimney on Facebook
noun
  1. A vertical tube or hollow column used to emit environmentally polluting gaseous and solid matter (including but not limited to by-products of burning carbon or hydro-carbon based fuels); a flue.
    • 1883: w:Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Louis Stevenson, w:Treasure Island, Treasure Island
    • : Our was a square hole in the roof: it was but a little part of the smoke that found its way out, and the rest eddied about the house, and kept us coughing and piping the eye.
      1. The glass flue surrounding the flame of an oil lamp.
      2. The smokestack of a steam locomotive.
      3. A narrow cleft in a rock face.
Churrigueresque Tweet Definition of Churrigueresque Like Definition of Churrigueresque on Facebook
adjective
  1. Relating to a Spanish baroque architectural style that started in the late 17th century to the early 18th century; characterized by flamboyant ornamentation
cincture Tweet Definition of cincture Like Definition of cincture on Facebook
noun
  1. An enclosure, or the act of enclosing, encircling or encompassing
  2. A girdle or belt, especially as part of a vestment
verbto cincture
  1. To girdle, circle or surround
clerestory Tweet Definition of clerestory Like Definition of clerestory on Facebook
noun (clerestories)
  1. (architecture) the upper part of a wall containing windows to let in natural light to a building, especially in the nave, transept and choir of a church or cathedral
cloister Tweet Definition of cloister Like Definition of cloister on Facebook
noun
  1. A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle.
  2. A place, especially a monastery or convent, devoted to religious seclusion; life in such a place.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To become a Roman Catholic religious.
  2. (transitive) To confine in a cloister, voluntarily or not.
  3. (intransitive) To deliberately withdraw from worldly things.
  4. (transitive) To protect or isolate.
cloistered Tweet Definition of cloistered Like Definition of cloistered on Facebook
verb Past and past participle of cloister. adjective
  1. Pertaining to one who lives in a cloister or a cloister-like environment, or who was raised that way.
  2. Pertaining to isolation, protection, being hidden way for the sake of maintaining innocence; naive, lacking in worldliness.
closure Tweet Definition of closure Like Definition of closure on Facebook
noun
  1. an event or occurence that signifies an ending
  2. a feeling of completeness; the experience of an emotional conclusion, usually to a difficult period
  3. (computing): an abstraction that represents a function within an environment, a context consisting of the variables that are both bound variable, bound at a particular time during the execution of the program and that are within the function's scope
  4. (mathematics): the smallest object that both includes the object as a subset and possesses some given property
coffer Tweet Definition of coffer Like Definition of coffer on Facebook
noun
  1. a strongbox: a strong chest or box used for keeping money or valuables safe.
  2. (architecture) an ornamental sunken panel in a ceiling or dome.
  3. a cofferdam
  4. a supply or store of money, often belonging to an organization
COIN Tweet Definition of COIN Like Definition of COIN on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. COunter INsurgency (military)
colonnade Tweet Definition of colonnade Like Definition of colonnade on Facebook
noun
  1. A series of columns at regular intervals.
columbarium Tweet Definition of columbarium Like Definition of columbarium on Facebook
noun , plural columbaria or columbariums
  1. a dovecote; one of the pigeonholes in a dovecote
  2. a large, sometimes architecturally impressive building for housing a large colony of pigeons, particularly those of ancien regime France.
  3. (context, by extension) a building, a vault or some similar place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns containing cremated remains, or a niche in such a place
compartment Tweet Definition of compartment Like Definition of compartment on Facebook
noun
  1. A room, or section, or chamber
  • "Two men were seated in a well-lighted compartment of a third-class carriage."
    1. One of the parts in which an area is subdivided.
composite Tweet Definition of composite Like Definition of composite on Facebook
noun
  1. A mixture of different components.
  2. A structural material that gains its strength from a combination of complementary materials.
  3. (botany) A plant belonging to the family Compositae.
  4. (mathematics) A function of a function.
verb (composit, ing)
  1. To make a composite.
I composited an image using computer software.
adjective
  1. Made up of multiple components; compound or complex.
  2. (architecture) Being a mixture of Ionic and Corinthian styles.
  3. (mathematics) Not prime; having factors.
  4. (botany) Being a member of the Compositae family (now known as Asteraceae).
conge Tweet Definition of conge Like Definition of conge on Facebook
noun
  1. A concave molding.
console Tweet Definition of console Like Definition of console on Facebook
noun
  1. A cabinet designed to stand on the floor.
  2. A cabinet that controls, instruments, and displays are mounted upon.
  3. The keyboard and screen of a computer.
  4. A storage tray or container mounted between the seats of an automobile.
  5. A video game console, especially as opposed to a handheld.
  6. (architecture) An ornamental member jutting out of a wall to carry a superincumbent weight.
verb (consol, ing)
  1. (transitive) To comfort (someone) in a time of grief, disappointment, etc.
Corinthian Tweet Definition of Corinthian Like Definition of Corinthian on Facebook
noun
  1. An inhabitant or a resident of Corinth, and its suburbs.
  2. An inhabitant, a resident of; a thing that originates from Corinthia
  3. A well-dressed nineteenth-century Englishman of high social standing and wealth who was a neck-or-nothing rider of fine horseflesh, an accurate shot with duelling pistols, a swordsman of distinction, and an amateur pugilist who had learned the art and science of boxing.
cornice Tweet Definition of cornice Like Definition of cornice on Facebook
noun
  1. (architecture) The topmost architectural element of a building, projecting forward from the main walls, originally used as a means of directing rainwater away from the building's walls.
    1. A decorative element applied at the topmost part of the wall of a room, as with a crown moulding.
    2. A decorative element at the topmost portion of certain pieces of furniture, as with a highboy.
corona Tweet Definition of corona Like Definition of corona on Facebook
noun (plural: coronae or coronas)
  1. A crown or garland bestowed among the Romans as a reward for distinguished services.
  2. (star): The luminous plasma atmosphere of the Sun or other star, extending millions of kilometres into space, most easily seen during a total solar eclipse,
  3. (biology): Any crown-like appendage of a plant or animal.
  4. (electrical): a low energy discharge caused by ionization of a gas by an electric field quite common at conductor bends of 12kV or higher.
coronet Tweet Definition of coronet Like Definition of coronet on Facebook
noun
  1. A small crown worn by a noble. In the British system, they are worn only at coronations. The German equivalent is Adelskrone.
    Kind hearts are more than coronets,
    And simple faith than Norman blood. -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lady Clara Vere de Vere''
    1. The ring of tissue between a a horse's hoof and its leg.
crest Tweet Definition of crest Like Definition of crest on Facebook
noun
  1. A tuft, or other excrescence or natural ornament, growing on an animal's head; the comb of a cock; the swelling on the head of a serpent; the lengthened feathers of the crown or nape of bird, etc.
  2. The plume of feathers, or other decoration, worn on or displayed above a helmet; the distinctive ornament of a helmet, indicating the rank of the wearer.
  3. (heraldry): A bearing worn, not upon the shield, but usually above it, or separately as an ornament for plate, liveries, and the like. It is a relic of the ancient cognizance. See Cognizance, 4.
  4. The upper curve of a horse's neck.
  5. The ridge or top of a wave.
  6. The summit of a hill or mountain ridge.
  7. The helm or head, as typical of a high spirit; pride; courage.
  8. The ornamental finishing which surmounts the ridge of a roof, canopy, etc.
  9. The top line of a slope or embankment.
verb
  1. Particularly with reference to waves, to reach a peak.
cresting Tweet Definition of cresting Like Definition of cresting on Facebook
verb
  1. (present participle of, crest)
crossing Tweet Definition of crossing Like Definition of crossing on Facebook
noun
  1. An intersection where roads, lines, or tracks cross
  2. A place at which a river, railroad, or highway may be crossed
  3. A voyage across a body of water
  4. (architecture) The volume formed by the intersection of chancel, nave and transepts in a cruciform church; often with a tower or cupola over it
adjective
  1. (rare) Extending or lying across; in a crosswise direction.
cruck Tweet Definition of cruck Like Definition of cruck on Facebook
noun
  1. a sturdy timber with a curve or angle used for primary framing of a timber house, usually used in pairs.
    Quotations
    • 1952: To construct such a house, it is necessary to select an oak with a branch growing out at an angle of about 45°; the upper part of the tree, above the fork, having been cut off, the trunk and branch are roughly squared and divided in half . If the two halves are then placed opposite one another, with the branch ends pegged together, they constitute what was usually known as a 'cruck' or, more correctly, 'a pair of crucks'. — L.F. Salzman, Building in England, p. 195.
curtail Tweet Definition of curtail Like Definition of curtail on Facebook
verb
  1. To limit or restrict.
Their efforts to spending didn't quite succeed.
  1. To shorten or abridge the duration of something; to truncate.
When the audience grew restless, the speaker curtailed her speech.
  1. (obsolete) To cut short the tail of a horse.
curtain Tweet Definition of curtain Like Definition of curtain on Facebook
noun
  1. A piece of cloth covering a window to keep the sun from shining inside.
  2. A similar piece of cloth that separates the audience and the stage in a theater.
verb
  1. To cover (a window) with a curtain; to hang curtains.
cusp Tweet Definition of cusp Like Definition of cusp on Facebook
noun
  1. A sharp point or pointed end.
  2. (figuratively) An important moment when a decision is made that will determine future events.
  3. (geometry) A point of a curve where it has two tangents.
  4. (astrology) A boundary between zodiacal astrological sign, signs and houses.
  5. (dentistry) Any of the pointed parts of a canine tooth or molar.

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