A gambrel (also known as a Dutch gambrel) is a usually symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side. The upper slope is positioned at a shallow angle while the lower slope is quite steep. This design provides the advantages of a sloped roof while maximizing head space on the building's upper level. The name comes from the Medieval Latin word "gamba" meaning "hoof", or "leg of an animal".

The gambrel roof is associated with Colonial architecture, and particularly Dutch Colonial.

It is not uncommon for a gambrel roof to be referred to as a Mansard roof, although the more precise usage of the terms "gambrel" and "Mansard" is that a gambrel roof applies the two-slope idea to only two sides of the building (forming gables), whereas a Mansard roof applies the two-slope idea to all four sides of the building (forming hips). It is also not uncommon for laypeople not versed in architectural terms to refer to a gambrel roof as a "barn roof" (because gambrels are often mentally associated with barns).

ee also

*Mansard roof (the two-slope idea applied to all four sides of the building, forming hips rather than gables)

External links

* [ How to Build a Gambrel Roof]
* [ The Restoration of an 18th Century Gambrel Home in Virginia]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gambrel — hipped roof, 1851, short for gambrel roof, so called for its shape, from gambrel horse s hind leg (c.1600), earlier wooden bar to hang carcasses (1540s), perhaps from O.N.Fr. gamberel, from gambe leg, from L.L. gamba (see GAMBOL (Cf. gambol)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gambrel — Gam brel v. t. To truss or hang up by means of a gambrel. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gambrel — Gam brel, n. [OF. gambe, jambe leg, F. jambe. Cf. {Cambrel}, {Chambrel}, and see {Gambol}. n.] 1. The hind leg of a horse. [1913 Webster] 2. A stick crooked like a horse s hind leg; used by butchers in suspending slaughtered animals. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gambrel — [gam′brəl] n. [NormFr < OFr gambe: see GAMB] 1. the hock of a horse or similar animal 2. a frame shaped like a horse s hind leg, used by butchers for hanging carcasses ☆ 3. GAMBREL ROOF …   English World dictionary

  • gambrel — /gam breuhl/, n. 1. the hock of an animal, esp. of a horse. 2. Also called gambrel stick. a wood or metal device for suspending a slaughtered animal. [1540 50; < ONF gamberel, akin to F jambier legging, jambe leg] * * * …   Universalium

  • gambrel — n. (in full gambrel roof) 1 Brit. a roof like a hipped roof but with gable like ends. 2 US = curb roof. Etymology: ONF gamberel f. gambier forked stick f. gambe leg (from the resemblance to the shape of a horse s hind leg) …   Useful english dictionary

  • gambrel — noun Etymology: perhaps from Middle French dialect (Norman) gamberel, from gambe leg, from Late Latin gamba Date: 1547 a stick or iron for suspending slaughtered animals …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gambrel — noun a) A bar, usually metal, with a central loop and a hook at each end, used to hang a carcass for butchering. b) a roof that has two pitches on each side, where the upper roof area has less slope than the lower roof areas …   Wiktionary

  • gambrel — Synonyms and related words: ankle, bayonet legs, bowlegs, calf, cnemis, drumstick, foreleg, gamb, gigot, ham, hind leg, hock, jamb, knee, leg, limb, podite, popliteal space, scissor legs, shank, shin, stems, stumps, tarsus, trotters …   Moby Thesaurus

  • gambrel — n. hock of a horse, ankle of a horse …   English contemporary dictionary

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