Triangular section formed by a roof with two slopes, extending from the eaves to the ridge where the two slopes meet. It may be miniaturized over a dormer window or entranceway. If the gable end projects above the roof level to form a parapet, the edge is often trimmed to form an ornamental silhouette (e.g., curved or stepped), as in Dutch town houses of the 16th and 17th centuries. In Asia, gables often feature projecting roof tiles and grotesque sculptures of animals at the ridge and eaves.
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(born Feb. 1, 1901, Cadiz, Ohio, U.S.—died Nov. 16, 1960, Hollywood, Calif.) U.S. film actor. He debuted on Broadway in 1928 and went to Hollywood in 1930. After an initial rejection MGM signed him, and within a year he was playing romantic leads. He triumphed in It Happened One Night (1934, Academy Award). His sardonic virility and lighthearted charm appealed to men as well as women, and he became known as “the King.” Among his 70-odd films are Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), San Francisco (1936), Saratoga (1937), and, most memorably, Gone with the Wind (1939). After the death of his third wife, Carole Lombard, he became disenchanted with the film industry and joined the Army Air Corps, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his wartime bombing missions. He later returned to Hollywood, starring in films such as The Hucksters (1947), Mogambo (1953), and The Misfits (1961).
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A gable is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system being used (which is often related to climate and availability of materials) and aesthetic concerns. Thus the type of roof enclosing the volume dictates the shape of the gable.
In Classic Greek and Roman architecture, the analogous feature is called the tympanum. Strictly speaking, the tympanum is the infill area, often triangular, of the pediment, which also consists of the raking cornice or ends of the sloped roofs (which may appear to bear, but do not actually bear on the tympanum - the fact that many tympana bear intricate and expensive carvings declaring the building's purpose is evidence of its non-structural role), and the cornice proper, which bears on the architrave, which in turn is supported at points by columns of a colonnade.
A variation of the gable is a crow-stepped gable, which has a stair step design to accomplish the sloping portion. Crow stepped gables were used in Scotland and England as early as the seventeenth century. Examples of the crow stepped gable can be seen at Muchalls Castle and Monboddo House, both 17th century Scottish buildings. Other early examples are found in parts of Denmark and Sweden.
Gable ends of more recent buildings are often treated in the same way as the Classic pediment form. But unlike Classical structures, which operate through trabeation, the gable ends of many buildings are actually bearing-wall structures. Thus, the detailing tends to be ambiguous, misleading, and to some architects "deceitful". See: John Ruskin and The Seven Lamps of Architecture.
Gable roofs are also just about the worst type of roof to have in hurricane regions, as not only do gable roofs easily peel off in hurricane winds, but according to one Hurricane Survival Guide book, a gable end "catches wind like a sail."