Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Angle Lacing

A system of lacing in which angle irons are used in place of bars.

Angle Modillion

A modillion at the corner of a cornice.

Angle Newel

A landing newel.

Angle Niche

A niche formed at the corner of a building;common in medieval architecture.

Angle Of Illumination

The angle between the axis of an illuminator and a perpendicular to the surface being illuminated.

Angle Paddle

A hand tool used to finish a plastered surface.

Angle Post

 In half-timber construction,the corner post.

Angle Rafter

A hip rafter.

Angle Rail

A timber that is cut from a square rail to form two lengthwise pieces which are triangular in cross section.

Angle Ridge

A hip rafter.

Angle Section

A structural steel member having an L-shaped cross section.

Angle Shaft

1.A column within the right angled recesses of Norman door and window jambs.2.A decorative member, such as a colonnette or enriched corner bead,attached to an external angle of a building.

Angle Stile

A narrow strip of wood used to conceal the joint between a wall and a vertical wood surface which makes an angle with the wall,as at the edge of a corner cabinet.

Angle Stone

Same as quoin.

Angle Strut

An angle-shaped structural member which is designed to carry a compression load.

Angle Trowel

A margin trowel.


Same as bowtell.

Angled Bay Window

A bay window that is tri angular in plan and protrudes outward from a wall.

Angled Chimney Stacks

See diagonal chimney stacks.

Angled Stair

A stair whose successive flights are at an angle other than 180° to each other (often the angles are at 90°),with an intermediate platform between them.


Same as bulldozer.


A groove,usually containing an angle of 90.

Angular Hip Tile

Same as angle tile.


A natural mineral calcium sulfate,used in the manufacture of portland cement to control its set.

Anhydrous Lime

See lime.

Animal Black

A black pigment made by charring of animal bones;sometimes used in paints,although carbon black generally is preferred for tinting strength and blackness.Available in three grades:boneblack,drop black,and ivory black.


Descriptive of a material (such as wood) that does not have the same physical properties in all directions.

Annealed Glass

Glass created by a process that moves it,in a molten form, along a long oven where it is heated and then slowly cooled under controlled conditions,emerging as a flat,“fire polished” glass product.

Annealed Tube

See soft copper tube.


A subsidiary structure near or adjoining a larger principal building.

Annual Ring,growth Ring

A layer of wood produced during one year of a tree’s growth.


Said of a ring shaped structure or object. 

Annular Crypt

A crypt in a church that has a semicircular ambulatory leading to the main chamber,which contains a relic of a saint.

Annular Molding

Any molding that is circular in plan,such as the torus at the base of a column. 

Annular Nail

A nail with circular ridges around its shaft;provides greater holding power than a nail without such ridges.

Annular Vault

A barrel vault in the shape of a ring,instead of a straight line;covers a space of which the plan is formed by the area between two concentric circles,or any portion of such a space.

Annulated Column

A shaft or cluster of shafts fitted,at intervals,with rings.


A small molding,usually circular in plan and square or angular in section; of the fillets encircling the lower part of the Doric capital above the necking.


1.A signaling device,usually electrically operated,that emits an audible signal and/or a visual indication under selected circumstances;for example,it may sound an alarm in the case of fire or unauthorized entry.2.See car annunciator.


On drawings,abbr.for anodize.

Anodic Coating

The surface finish resulting from anodizing;may be transparent or colored by the use of a dye or pigment in the anodizing process.


To provide a hard,noncorrosive,electrolytic,oxide film on the surface of a metal,particularly aluminum,by electrolytic action.

Anta Cap

The capital of an anta.


Dating before or existing before the US Civil War (1861–1865).


A room,often spacious and elegant,leading to a private audience room or cabinet.


1.A room preceding a chamber.2.A foyer,lobby,or vestibule.


A separate entrance space,as a porch or vestibule,in front of a chapel.


The space,more or less enclosed,between the inner and outer gates of the choir screen.


A deep narthex at the front of a church,usually with a nave and side aisles.


An entrance court or outer court which precedes the principal court,as at Versailles;a forecourt.