Definition of newel in English:


Line breaks: newel
Pronunciation: /ˈnjuːəl


  • 1The central supporting pillar of a spiral or winding staircase.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

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