architrave (ärˈkĭtrāv) [key], in architecture, principal beam and lowest member of the classical entablature, the other main members of which are the frieze and the cornice. Its position is directly above the columns, and it extends between them, thus carrying the upper members of the order (see orders of architecture). The term also applies to molding around the sides and top of a door or window frame.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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