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finial (plural finials)
- (architecture) The knot or bunch of foliage, or foliated ornament, that forms the upper extremity of a pinnacle in Gothic architecture.
- Coordinate term: fleuron
- 1888–1891, Herman Melville, “[Billy Budd, Foretopman.] Chapter 24.”, in Billy Budd and Other Stories, London: John Lehmann, published 1951, OCLC 639975898:
- Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges; hence the conclusion of such a narration is apt to be less finished than an architectural finial.
- (by extension) Any decorative fitting at the peak of a gable, or on the top of a flagpole, fencepost, newel post of a staircase etc.
- 1994 January 12, David Karp, “Once Considered Exotic, Some Fruits Become Family”, in The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331:
- Mark Twain called the cherimoya “deliciousness itself,” though others have described this heart-shaped, fist-sized fruit with pale-green leathery skin as […] “the finial for a giant four-poster bed.”
- 2005, David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, New York: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 129:
- He says there’s a very particular etiquette to having your flag at half-mast: you’re supposed to first run it all the way up to the finial at the top and then bring it halfway down.
- 2021 September 22, “A signal survivor from the 1800s”, in RAIL, number 940, page 82:
- For several years, the finial was missing, and its replica replacement will save the wooden post from rotting.
- finial on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- “finial”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.