Definition of newel in English:


Pronunciation /ˈn(y)o͞owəl/ /ˈn(j)uwəl/


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

    ‘The stairways were built upon spiral vaults, winding round a central newel.’
    ‘On older staircases the newel may be held in place with dowels.’
    column, post, pole, support, upright, vertical, baluster, pier, pile, piling, pilaster, stanchion, standard, prop, buttress
    1. 1.1A post at the head or foot of a flight of stairs, supporting a handrail.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Luckily, some of the original spindles and newel posts were still present, so the Cousley's had them copied and restored the staircase to its former glory.’
      • ‘The pitch pine and mahogany staircase has antique courtesy lights atop carved newel posts and leads to five large bedrooms, all with en suites.’


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



/ˈn(y)o͞owəl/ /ˈn(j)uwəl/