O"ri*el (?), n. [OF. oriol gallery, corridor, LL. oriolum portico, hall, prob. fr. L. aureolus gilded, applied to an apartment decorated with gilding. See Oriole.] [Formerly written also oriol, oryal, oryall.]
A gallery for minstrels.
A small apartment next a hall, where certain persons were accustomed to dine; a sort of recess.
A bay window. See Bay window.
The beams that thro' the oriel shine
Make prisms in every carven glass.
⇒ There is no generally admitted difference between a bay window and an oriel. In the United States the latter name is often applied to bay windows which are small, and either polygonal or round; also, to such as are corbeled out from the wall instead of resting on the ground.
© Webster 1913.