a. A wide, low-pitched gable surmounting the façade of a building in the Grecian style.
b. A triangular element, similar to or derivative of a Grecian pediment, used widely in architecture and decoration.
2. Geology A broad, gently sloping rock surface at the base of a steeper slope, often covered with alluvium, formed primarily by erosion.
[Alteration (influenced by Latin pēs, ped-, foot) of earlier perement, probably alteration of PYRAMID.]
ped′i·mental (-mĕntl) adj.
(click for a larger image)pediment
US Supreme Court building
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.