A stone curb surrounding the mouth of a well, often decorated with figures depicting mythological scenes; (occasionally) a small building or structure housing a well.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Obadiah Walker (1616–1699), college head and author. From classical Latin puteal (also puteāle) structure surrounding the mouth of a well, use as noun of neuter of puteālis.
In early use: of or relating to a well or pit. In later use (Classical Architecture): of or relating to a puteal.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Blount (1618–1679), antiquary and lexicographer. From classical Latin puteālis of or relating to a well from puteus pit, well + -ālis.