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window, in architecture, the casement or sash, fitted with glass, which closes an opening in the wall of a structure without excluding light and air. It may have a square, round, or pointed head; may be single, double, or grouped; in relation to the wall, it may be flush, recessed, or projected. A projected window is called a bay window if polygonal, a bow window if semicircular, an oriel if it has corbeled brick or stone supports. A mullioned window is divided by slender bars into panes; when the bars radiate from the center of a circular bar it is called a wheel. It takes the name of rose window when adorned with stained glass or figure design. The long, narrow window of the English Perpendicular Gothic church is called a lancet; a lunette fills a somewhat crescent-shaped space under a vaulted intersection high upon a wall. A fanlight, characteristic of the American Colonial style, is either a semicircular transom, usually over an entrance, or a small attic window (or often a pair flanking the chimney). A French window reaches the floor and has double casements opening as doors; originating in France in the late Renaissance, it was adopted throughout the Continent and in the Southern states in America. The double-hung sashes (sliding up and down within the frame), first used in Renaissance England, attained wide popularity. In Spain windows are frequently ornate, with stone framework, an elaborate head, and a decorative iron grille. In Indian and Byzantine windows a pierced slab of marble or alabaster often substitutes for glass. Muslims also used cement frames in which colored glass was set in brilliant arabesque forms. Carved and turned wood grilles are found in Syria and Egypt. In China and Japan, rice paper, protected by a sliding wooden shutter, often takes the place of glass. Shell, also used in China, was employed by the Romans, as were thin panes of marble, mica, and horn. In modern architecture the use of windows has greatly increased in dwellings and in the exterior walls of factories and commercial buildings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


See atmospheric windows; launch window.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006


An opening in an exterior wall of a building to admit light and air, usually glazed; an entire assembly consisting of a window frame, its glazing, and any operating hardware. The window has seen a significant increase in performance using new technologies, including double and triple panes, low-E coatings and gas-filled windows, which improve the insulation value. While high-performance windows may cost slightly more, the energy savings often result in a rapid payback.

angled bay window

A bay window that protrudes out over a wall and is triangular in plan.

awning window

A window consisting of a number of top-hinged horizontal sashes one above the other, the bottom edges of which swing outward; operated by one control device.

bay window

A window forming a recess in a room and projecting outwards from the wall either in a rectangular, polygonal or semicircular form. Some are supported on corbels or on projecting moldings.

bent window

A window that is curved in plan, typically with a bent sash; the jambs are typically parallel or radial.

blank window

A recess in an exterior wall, having the external appearance of a window; a window that has been sealed off but is still visible.

bow window

A rounded bay window projecting from the face of a wall; in plan it is a segment of a circle.

box-head window

A window constructed so that the sashes can slide vertically up into the head to provide maximum opening for ventilation.

bungalow window

A double-hung window with a single light in the bottom sash and rectangular divided lights in the upper sash.

cabinet window

A type of projecting window or bay window for the display of goods in shops.

camber window

A window arched at the top.

cant window

A bay window erected on a plan of canted outlines; the sides are not at right angles to the wall.

casement window

A window ventilating sash, fixed at the sides of the opening into which it is fitted, which swings open on hinges along its entire length.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

What does it mean when you dream about a window?

Looking through an open or a closed window may represent something about one’s outlook on life. A “window of time” is a time frame in which to do something or to recover from an error. This dream symbol may signify some major insight in the dreamer’s life. (See also Glass).

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(aerospace engineering)
An interval of time during which conditions are favorable for launching a spacecraft on a specific mission.
(building construction)
An opening in the wall of a building or the body of a vehicle to admit light and usually to permit vision through a transparent or translucent material, usually glass.
(computer science)
A separate viewing area on a display screen that is established by the computer software. Also known as viewport.
A material having minimum absorption and minimum reflection of radiant energy, sealed into the vacuum envelope of a microwave or other electron tube to permit passage of the desired radiation through the envelope to the output device.
A hole in a partition between two cavities or waveguides, used for coupling.
A break caused by erosion of a thrust sheet or a large recumbent anticline that exposes the rocks beneath the thrust sheet. Also known as fenster.
Any range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum to which the atmosphere is transparent.
The unfrozen part of a river surrounded by river ice during the winter.
A globular defect in a thermoplastic sheet or film caused by incomplete plasticization; similar to a fisheye.
An aperture for the passage of particles or radiation in a nuclear reactor.
An energy range of relatively high transparency in the total neutron cross section of a material; such windows arise from interference between potential and resonance scattering in elements of intermediate atomic weight, and can be of importance in neutron shielding.
A confusion reflector consisting of strips of chaff, wire, or bars cut to give resonance at expected enemy radar frequencies, and dropped in clusters from aircraft or expelled from shells or rockets as a radar countermeasure.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


window: details
An opening, generally in an external wall of a building, to admit light and provide ventilation; usually glazed. The framework in which the glass is set is called a sash; a flat sheet of glass, cut to fit a window, or part of a window, is called a pane. Many early glazed openings had fixed lights (i.e., could not be opened); others were a combination of fixed lights and a casement window that opened outward. For various types of windows, see angled bay window, art window, awning window, band window, bay window, blank window, bow window, bull’s-eye window, camber window,
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


windowclick for a larger image
i. Any device introduced into the atmosphere to produce an appreciable radar echo, usually for tracking some airborne device or tracing the wind.
ii. A World War II code name for a type of radar-jamming device employed to confuse the operators of enemy radars (also referred to by the code names of rope, chaff, and clutter. One type of window consists of packages containing thousands of small strips of paper-backed tin-foil, which may be dropped from aircraft and balloons, ejected from rockets, and carried within balloons. The packages burst open upon ejection, scattering the tinfoil widely and producing a radar echo, which looks like a small shower or a tight formation of aircraft on plan-position-indicator scopes. The same as chaff.
iii. A specific period of time during which there is an opportunity, such as a weather window.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


1. the display space in and directly behind a shop window
2. Physics a region of the spectrum in which a medium transmits electromagnetic radiation
3. Computing an area of a VDU display that may be manipulated separately from the rest of the display area; typically different files can be displayed simultaneously in different overlapping windows
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(1) A time period. For example, a "window of opportunity" implies a favorable time.

(2) Sometimes refers to a reserved area of memory.

(3) A viewing area on screen that contains a surrounding frame (border). It is used to separate parts of an application from each other and to separate one application from another. Mostly rectangular, windows can also be round and multi-sided.

If there is more data than the window can hold at one time, the window contains a scroll bar that allows the user to reach the additional content. Windows were first used in the late 1960s at Stanford Research Laboratories (SRI). See dialog box, scroll bar, splash screen and GUI. See also Windows.

Application Windows
The Windows version of this encyclopedia displays two scrollable windows from A to Z. The index is on the left, and the definitions are on the right. Each window is scrollable independently from the other.

Not Just Windows Windows
A window is a generic term for a viewing area, not just in the Windows operating system. This dialog for changing fonts is from a Mac.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.


A window is a rich dream symbol. Its accurate interpretation can lead to awareness and a better understanding of a personal outlook on life. If you are looking through the window, pay close attention to what you are looking at. Is it a beautiful landscape or a scene dealing with an experience or a situation from your past? Looking through a window and seeing a beautiful landscape may represent your desire for greater satisfaction and more peace in your life. If you are seeing something familiar, you may be able to perceive the situation in a new way and gain some insight. Some say that a window may represent a time frame. A closed window suggests and inability to effectively communicate and an opened widow may represent desire for new adventure in life. Windows in our houses allow us to see the world on the outside, and the windows in our dreams may encourage us to better see the world within ourselves, as well as the world outside.
Bedside Dream Dictionary by Silvana Amar Copyright © 2007 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
It was midnight before she heard the patter of a handful of gravel on her window-panes. In a trice she was leaning out.
And makes lovely patterns On your window-pane And your breath Is like fire inside.
The bed, the window-pane beside it, the valley, the sky, The splendid swiftness of the clouds.