From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Gable \Ga"ble\, noun [OE. gable, gabil, F. gable, fr. LL. gabalum front of a building, prob. of German or Scand. origin; cf. OHG. gibil, G. giebel gable, Icel. gafl, Goth. gibla pinnacle; perh. akin to Gr. ? head, and E. cephalic, or to G. gabel fork, AS. geafl, E. gaffle, L. gabalus a kind of gallows.] (Arch.) (a) The vertical triangular portion of the end of a building, from the level of the cornice or eaves to the ridge of the roof. Also, a similar end when not triangular in shape, as of a gambrel roof and the like. Hence: (b) The end wall of a building, as distinguished from the front or rear side. (c) A decorative member having the shape of a triangular gable, such as that above a Gothic arch in a doorway.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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