From Dutch ezel (“donkey; easel”), from Middle Dutch esel (“donkey”) (compare German esel (“donkey”)), from Latin asellus (“young ass or small donkey”), diminutive of asinus (“ass, donkey”), ultimately from an unknown source in Asia Minor. Essentially, the stand that a painting is placed on is being likened to a donkey carrying a burden; compare horse (“a frame with legs used to support something”), as in clotheshorse and sawhorse.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈiː.z(ə)l/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈi.zəl/
- Rhymes: -iːzəl
- Hyphenation: ea‧sel
easel (plural easels)
- An upright frame, typically on three legs, for displaying or supporting something, such as an artist's canvas.
1991 December, Paul Chadwick, “American Christmas [from Within Our Reach]”, in Concrete: Short Stories, 1990–1995, Milwaukie, Or.: Dark Horse Comics, published 1996, ISBN 978-1-56971-099-9:
- Three sons … three! And not one sees fit to throw in with the old man. No … we have an easel painter, a stuntman, and a … a …