easel

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English[edit]

Tripod (left) and H-frame easels

Etymology[edit]

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.

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Noun[edit]

easel ‎(plural easels)

  1. An upright frame, typically on three legs, for displaying or supporting something, such as an artist's canvas.

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