Meaning of cornice in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkɔːnɪs/

See synonyms for cornice on

Translate cornice into Spanish


  • 1An ornamental moulding round the wall of a room just below the ceiling.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘The interconnecting reception rooms to the left both have original cornices and ceiling roses as well as matching marble fireplaces with fitted gas fires, brass hoods and tiled insets.’
    • ‘With an original oak floor, this area also features a carved oak ceiling rose, pediments, cornices and architraves.’
    1. 1.1A horizontal moulded projection crowning a building or structure, especially the uppermost member of the entablature of an order, surmounting the frieze.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘To one side lie the stately old buildings with columns and cornices that reference the school's 1845 heritage.’
      • ‘Sometimes the sky is greeted with a white cornice over an otherwise brown building.’
  • 2An overhanging mass of hardened snow at the edge of a mountain precipice.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘In the wild there is no piste patrol to pick up the pieces, and the mountains bristle with rocks, cliffs and cornices.’
    • ‘Moments later I was kicking my way up and over the slightly overhanging cornice on to the plateau above.’


Mid 16th century from French corniche, from Italian cornice, perhaps from Latin cornix ‘crow’ (compare with corbel), but influenced by Greek korōnis ‘coping stone’.