Definition of clerestory in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈklɪəˌstɔːri/
(US also clearstory)

noun (plural clerestories)

1The upper part of the nave, choir, and transepts of a large church, containing a series of windows.
Example sentences
  • Highlights of these volumes are the windows of the choir clerestory, and the tracery lights of various chapels and of the chapter house.
  • Just one of his guiding principles, that nothing should be built higher than the clerestory of the Minster, has insured that it remains a resolutely low-rise city.
  • Light pours down at the ceremonial end from an unseen clerestory set into the roof where it steps up to offer nobility.
1.1A series of windows in another large building that are similar to those in a clerestory.
Example sentences
  • The roundhouse was red sandstone brick with graceful arches over most of the ten stalls and a corrugated metal roof adorned with a ventilated clerestory.
  • To solve this problem, the architects raised the central portion of the roof to create clerestories that can illuminate any classroom configuration.
  • A great deal of time is spent studying the sun's seasonal angles, capturing or controlling it with clerestories and tilted roof planes.
1.2A raised section of roof running down the centre of a railway carriage, with small windows or ventilators.
Example sentences
  • If you decide to glue the roof in place now, install the correct clerestory vent sides, depending on whether your car had air conditioning or not in the period you're modeling.
  • The four-wheel clerestory roof planked side Sachsen coach will be in original red livery.
  • Externally the cars have clerestory roofs.


Late Middle English: from clear + storey.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: clere|story

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