Definition of cornice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkôrnis/


1An ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling.
Example sentences
  • Each has a feature fireplace surround and there are ceiling cornices in the living room and hallway.
  • There are double-glazed, maintenance-free windows in each house and decorative ceiling cornices in the living room and hall.
  • The original sash windows are in perfect working condition, the original wooden window panelling and doors remain and the main rooms have cornices and ceiling roses.
1.1A horizontal molded projection crowning a building or structure, especially the uppermost member of the entablature of an order, surmounting the frieze.
Example sentences
  • The windows are surmounted by rusticated wooden jack arches with superimposed keystones, and a heavy modillion cornice crowns the bold Georgian proportions of the facade.
  • The flat fourth story is crowned by an emphatic cornice, above which is a tall mansard roof sheltering two more stories.
  • Now a historic district, downtown boasts blocks of two- and three-story commercial buildings with elaborate cornices.
2An overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice.
Example sentences
  • Climbing alpine style - fast and light, with no set camps - they took on bitter winds and heavy-laden cornices of snow but summited in three and a half days.
  • In winter, it looks positively Alpine when the snow forms sweeping cornices.
  • Hawk was standing on top of a snow cornice near the top of the peak when the cornice broke loose from the mountain, sending Hawk churning down the slope.



Example sentences
  • A porch with a solid teak front door opens onto a bright hallway with a polished French oak floor, a corniced ceiling, understairs storage and guest toilet.
  • At the moment the property includes an L-shaped entrance hall with a cream colour scheme and a corniced ceiling with decorative archway.
  • The entrance hall is an elegant heart to this 112 square metre house and features original polished floorboards and a high corniced ceiling with centre rose and dado rail.


Example sentences
  • This leads to a hall with hand-carved ceiling cornicing and coving, a dado rail and archway.
  • It includes an entrance hall with ceiling cornicing, a dado rail, solid timber floors and an understairs storage cupboard.
  • The enclosed entrance porch has a mosaic tiled floor and leads to a gracious entrance hall with wooden floorboards, a dado rail, ornate cornicing and a centrepiece.


Mid 16th century: from French corniche, from Italian cornice, perhaps from Latin cornix 'crow' (compare with corbel), but influenced by Greek korōnis 'copestone'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cor·nice

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