Archive for October, 2008

impost

im·post² /ˈɪmpoʊst/
-noun Architecture.
1. the point of springing of an arch; spring.
2. an architectural feature immediately beneath this point.

[Origin: 1655-65; < F imposte < It imposta < L: fem. of impostus (ptp.); see impost¹]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Two straight and unadorned columns stood on either side of the entrance, which opened, at first sight, like a single great arch; but from the columns began two embrasures that, surmounted by other, multiple arches, led the gaze, as if into the heart of an abyss, toward the doorway itself, crowned by a great tympanum, supported on the sides by two imposts and in the center by a carved pillar, which divided the entrance into two apertures protected by oak doors reinforced in metal.

Source: The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco.

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tympanum

tym·pa·num /ˈtɪmpənəm/
-noun, pluralnums, –na /-nə/
1. Anatomy, Zoology.
a. middle ear.
b. tympanic membrane.
2. Architecture.
a. the recessed, usually triangular space enclosed between the horizontal and sloping cornices of a pediment, often decorated with sculpture.
b. a similar space between an arch and the horizontal head of a door or window below.
3. Electricity. the diaphragm of a telephone.
4. a drum or similar instrument.
5. the stretched membrane forming a drumhead.

[Origin: 1610-20; < L < Gk týmpanon drum, akin to týptein to beat, strike]

Source: Dictionary.com.

Two straight and unadorned columns stood on either side of the entrance, which opened, at first sight, like a single great arch; but from the columns began two embrasures that, surmounted by other, multiple arches, led the gaze, as if into the heart of an abyss, toward the doorway itself, crowned by a great tympanum, supported on the sides by two imposts and in the center by a carved pillar, which divided the entrance into two apertures protected by oak doors reinforced in metal.

Source: The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco.

embrasure

em·bra·sure /ɛmˈbreɪʒər/
-noun
1. (in fortification) an opening, as a loophole or crenel, through which missiles may be discharged.
2. Architecture. a splayed enlargement of a door or window toward the inner face of a wall.
3. Dentistry. the space between adjacent teeth.

[Origin: 1695-1705; < F, equiv. to embras(er) to enlarge a window or door opening, make an embrasure (appar. the same v. as embraser to set on fire (see embrace²), though sense shift unclear) + –ure -ure]

-Related forms
em·bra·sured, adjective

Source: Dictionary.com.

Two straight and unadorned columns stood on either side of the entrance, which opened, at first sight, like a single great arch; but from the columns began two embrasures that, surmounted by other, multiple arches, led the gaze, as if into the heart of an abyss, toward the doorway itself, crowned by a great tympanum, supported on the sides by two imposts and in the center by a carved pillar, which divided the entrance into two apertures protected by oak doors reinforced in metal.

Source: The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco.