Definition of gambrel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡambrəl/
(also gambrel roof)


1A roof with two sides, each of which has a shallower slope above a steeper one.
Example sentences
  • The home is two stories with a gambrel (barn-style) roof and a covered porch we enjoy year-round.
  • His five-bay building, with its glazed header Flemish bond brick facade had a gambrel roof typical of local vernacular architecture.
  • ‘I grew up in a home like this,’ she reminisced as she drove by a brick house with a gambrel rooftop.
1.1A hip roof with a small gable forming the upper part of each end.
Example sentences
  • Others have steep gambrel roofs or hipped roofs, with or without porches.
  • This mostly stone two-story house has a Dutch gambrel hipped roof.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'bent piece of wood or iron used by butchers to hang carcasses on'): from Old Northern French gamberel, from gambier 'forked stick', from gambe 'leg'. The sense 'hip roof' (mid 19th century) is based on an earlier meaning 'joint in the upper part of a horse's hind leg', the shape of which the roof resembles.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gam·brel

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