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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Clerestory \Clere"sto`ry\ (kl[=e]r"st[=o]`r[y^]), n. Same as Clearstory.


Clearstory \Clear"sto`ry\ (kl[=e]r"st[=o]`r[y^]), Clerestory \Clere"sto`ry\, n. (Arch.) The upper story of the nave of a church, containing windows, and rising above the aisle roofs.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., probably from clere "clear," in a sense "light, lighted" (see clear (adj.)), and story (n.2), though this sense of that word is not otherwise found so early. Originally the upper part of the nave, transepts, and choir of a large church; so called because pierced with windows. Related: Clerestorial.


alt. (context architecture English) The upper part of a wall containing windows to let in natural light to a building, especially in the nave, transept and choir of a church or cathedral. n. (context architecture English) The upper part of a wall containing windows to let in natural light to a building, especially in the nave, transept and choir of a church or cathedral.


n. part of an interior wall rising above the adjacent roof with windows admitting light [syn: clearstory]


In architecture, a clerestory (; lit. clear storey, also clearstory, clearstorey, or overstorey) is a high section of wall that contains windows above eye level. The purpose is to admit light, fresh air, or both.

Historically, clerestory denoted an upper level of a Roman basilica or of the nave of a Romanesque or Gothic church, the walls of which rise above the rooflines of the lower aisles and are pierced with windows.

Similar structures have been used in transportation vehicles to provide additional lighting, ventilation, or headroom.

Usage examples of "clerestory".

DUMB SHOW From a private corridor leading to a door in the aisle the EMPRESS JOSEPHINE enters, in a shining costume, and diamonds that collect rainbow-colours from the sunlight piercing the clerestory windows.

Their ravishing high notes launch a pathetic prayer at the clerestory, a help message holding at bay, for one more hemiola, the floodgate crossing.

Above, far back in the clerestory arches, are octofoil windows with sills of over-lapping courses, which incline forward to the string course above the triforium.

Tuvashanoran strode down the nave, golden fillet catching the gleam of tinted light from the clerestory windows.

Moonlight streamed through the clerestory windows of the room within, illuminating a black throne.

Royhas had ordered guild servants to curtain the clerestory windows which could have lighted the dining hall at this hour, knowing that Gothelm would as quickly sell the conspirators to the queen as unveil the queen's secrets to the conspirators.

And it was shaded by the architecture of the clerestory so that the dulled blued-steel gun barrel didn't glint in the sun.

They watched for a long time, studying the arrangement of pillars and side chapels and occasional funeral effigies along the clerestory aisle.

Most of the high clerestory windows were broken out, but reflections flared in the remaining few, like white sparks from clashing blades.

Nearest to them, a curious Byzantine church, with an open octagonal cloister all round it, and above the shallow red-tiled roof of this projection, the roof of the church proper climbing by odd-shaped clerestories to the circular lantern, with its flattened conical hat of ridge-tiles.

The light inside the building came from the clerestories, the upper portion of the outer walls that held the stained-glass windows.

The light from clerestories above was adequate to his taste for dun cool interiors and vast unseen space.

Sunlight fell from the clerestory windows high above, and an electronic organ softly played an inspirational interlude before the next hymn.

Banners of Carthmoor and Cassan, of Kierney and the Kheldish Riding, the Free Port of Concara-dine, the Meara Protectorate, Howicce, Llannedd, the Connait, the Hort of Orsal, episcopal banners of most of the Lords Spiritual in the Eleven Kingdoms-all hung alike from the high oak beams, then- silken and gold insignias and devices gleaming in the half-light that poured from the clerestory and from the three immense fireplaces that heated the room.

The vestries were ablaze, and the Girdlers’ Chapel and, above, the clerestories were pouring out bronze-colored smoke.