balcony

balconied, adj.
/bal"keuh nee/, n., pl. balconies.
1. a balustraded or railed elevated platform projecting from the wall of a building.
2. a gallery in a theater.
[1610-20; < It balcone balcony, floor-length window < Langobardic (cf. OHG balc(h)o, acc. sing. balcon beam; see BALK); sense extended from the beam over an aperture to the aperture itself]

* * *

      external extension of an upper floor of a building, enclosed up to a height of about three feet (one metre) by a solid or pierced screen, by balusters (see also balustrade), or by railings. In the medieval and Renaissance periods, balconies were supported by corbels made out of successive courses of stonework, or by large wooden or stone brackets. Since the 19th century, supports of cast iron, reinforced concrete, and other materials have become common.

      The balcony serves to enlarge the living space and range of activities possible in a dwelling without a garden or lawn. In many apartment houses the balcony is partly recessed to provide for both sunshine and shelter or shade. (In Classical architecture a balcony that is fully recessed or covered by its own roof is described as a loggia; [q.v.].) In hot countries a balcony allows a greater movement of air inside the building, as the doors opening onto it are usually louvered.

      From classical Rome to the Victorian period, balconies on public buildings were places from which speeches could be made or crowds exhorted. In Italy, where there are innumerable balconies and loggias, the best known is that at St. Peter's in Rome from which the pope gives his blessing.

      In Islāmic (Islamic arts) countries the faithful are called to prayer from the top balcony of a minaret. In Japanese architecture, based on wooden structures, a balcony is provided around each, or part of each, story.

      Internal balconies, also called galleries, were constructed in Gothic churches to accommodate singers. In larger halls during the Middle Ages they were provided for minstrels. With the Renaissance development of the theatre, balconies with sloped floors, allowing more and more spectators to have a clear view of the stage, were built in the auditorium.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Balcony — (from Italian balcone , scaffold; cf. High German balcho , beam, balk; probably cognate with Persian term بالكانه bālkāneh or its older variant پالكانه pālkāneh [ Dehkhoda Persian Dictionary] ), a kind of platform projecting from the wall of a… …   Wikipedia

  • Balcony — Bal co*ny (b[a^]l k[ o]*n[y^]; 277), n.; pl. {Balconies} (b[a^]l k[ o]*n[i^]z). [It. balcone; cf. It. balco, palco, scaffold, fr. OHG. balcho, palcho, beam, G. balken. See {Balk} beam.] 1. (Arch.) A platform projecting from the wall of a building …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balcony — 1610s, from It. balcone, from balco scaffold (from Langobardic *balko beam, Cf. O.E. balca beam, ridge; see BALK (Cf. balk)) + Italian augmentative suffix one. Till c.1825, regularly accented on the second syllable …   Etymology dictionary

  • balcony — [n] porch or structure above the ground balustrade, box*, catwalk, gallery, mezzanine, piazza, platform, porch, portico, stoop, terrace, veranda; concept 440 …   New thesaurus

  • balcony — ► NOUN (pl. balconies) 1) an enclosed platform on the outside of a building, with access from an upper floor window or door. 2) the highest tier of seats in a theatre or cinema. DERIVATIVES balconied adjective. ORIGIN Italian balcone …   English terms dictionary

  • balcony — [bal′kə nē] n. pl. balconies [It balcone < Langobardic * balko , akin to OHG balcho, beam: for IE base see BALK] 1. a platform projecting from the wall of an upper floor of a building and enclosed by a railing 2. an upper floor of rows of… …   English World dictionary

  • balcony — [[t]bæ̱lkəni[/t]] balconies 1) N COUNT A balcony is a platform on the outside of a building, above ground level, with a wall or railing around it. 2) N SING The balcony in a theatre or cinema is an area of seats above the main seating area. Syn:… …   English dictionary

  • balcony — noun 1) the balcony of the hotel Syn: veranda, terrace, balustrade, patio 2) the applause from the balcony Syn: gallery, dress circle, loge, upper tier, upper deck; choir loft; informal gods …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • balcony */ — UK [ˈbælkənɪ] / US noun [countable] Word forms balcony : singular balcony plural balconies 1) a place where you can stand just outside an upper window. It sticks out from the wall of a building. 2) theatre an upper floor in a theatre or cinema… …   English dictionary

  • balcony — noun Balcony is used before these nouns: ↑rail, ↑window …   Collocations dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.