penthouse


penthouse
penthouselike, adj.
/pent"hows'/, n., pl. penthouses /-how'ziz/.
1. an apartment or dwelling on the roof of a building, usually set back from the outer walls.
2. any specially designed apartment on an upper floor, esp. the top floor, of a building.
3. a structure on a roof for housing elevator machinery, a water tank, etc.
4. Also called pent, pentice /pen"tis/. a shed with a sloping roof, or a sloping roof, projecting from a wall or the side of a building, as to shelter a door.
5. any rooflike shelter or overhanging part.
6. See shed roof.
7. Court Tennis. a corridor having a slanted roof and projecting from three walls of the court.
[1520-30; alter. (by folk etymology) of ME pentis < OF apentiz, equiv. to apent ptp. of apendre to hang against (see APPENDANT) + -iz (F -is) < VL *-aticium, n. use of neut. of *-aticius, equiv. to L -at(us) -ATE1 + -icius adj. suffix]

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Enclosed area on top of a building.

A penthouse can be an apartment on the roof or top floor of a building or a structure on the roof housing the top of an elevator shaft, air-conditioning equipment, or stairs leading to the roof. A penthouse is usually set back from the vertical face of a building, but as a real-estate term, penthouse may refer to any top floor, regardless of setbacks. Though the word now often suggests a luxurious apartment with a panoramic view, historically a penthouse was a lean-to, shed, or other small structure attached to a comparatively large building.

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      enclosed area on top of a building. Such a structure may house the top of an elevator shaft, air-conditioning equipment, or the stairs leading to the roof; it can also provide living or working accommodations. Usually a penthouse is set back from the vertical face of a building, thus providing open spaces or terraces on one or more sides; but in recent practice architects and rental agents have referred to the top floor of any building, regardless of setbacks, as a penthouse.

      Although the word now denotes a luxurious and expensive apartment, commanding a panoramic view, historically a penthouse was a mere lean-to, or shed, or other small structure attached to a comparatively large building. In medieval times a penthouse, or pentice, was important in siege craft, being the temporary structure that protected besieging forces as they prepared for an attack on the enemy.

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Universalium. 2010.

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