In an older sense, an étagère is a bookshelf that is often narrow, shallow, and sometimes tapered to become narrower at the top. Fine étagères are truly beautiful pieces of furniture.

The more common meaning, at least in the US, is a bathroom rack that stands on legs on both sides of the the toilet. It typically has two to four shelves for towels and the like. In some places, this item is called a toilet topper. These étagères are not necessarily beautiful, but they add a minuscule footprint and are reasonably useful.

é`ta`gère" (?), n. [F., fr. étager to arrange on shelves, fr. étage story, floor. See Stage.]

A piece of furniture having a number of uninclosed shelves or stages, one above another, for receiving articles of elegance or use.



© Webster 1913.

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