a. The generally triangular section of wall at the end of a pitched roof, occupying the space between the two slopes of the roof.
b. The whole end wall of a building or wing having a pitched roof.
2. A triangular, usually ornamental architectural section, as one above an arched door or window.
[Middle English gable, gavel, from Norman French gable (perhaps of Celtic origin) and from Old Norse gafl; see ghebh-el- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.