Share this entry
newel Line breaks: newel
Pronunciation: /ˈnjuːəl/

Definition of newel in English:


Image of newel
1The central supporting pillar of a spiral or winding staircase.
Example sentences
  • The stairways were built upon spiral vaults, winding round a central newel.
  • On older staircases the newel may be held in place with dowels.
1.1 (also newel post) A post at the head or foot of a flight of stairs, supporting a handrail.
Example sentences
  • The spent cartridge cases were found lying fairly close together, and the nearest of them appears from the scale plans placed before the jury to have been lying a little less than 4 metres from the newel post at the foot of the stairs.
  • Since most fighters were right-handed, the stairways were built in such a way that if you were trying to get up the stairs, the newel post is on your right-hand side.
  • On top of the newel post, use a wooden fitting called a starting easement, which caps off the post and provides a transition to the handrail.


Late Middle English: from Old French nouel 'knob', from medieval Latin nodellus, diminutive of Latin nodus 'knot'.

Words that rhyme with newel

accrual, construal, crewel, cruel, dual, duel, fuel, gruel, jewel, renewal, reviewal
Definition of newel in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources