Last modified on 7 July 2014, at 10:35





A window, viewed from inside.


From Middle English windowe, windohe, windoge, from Old Norse vindauga (window, literally wind-eye", "wind-aperture", "wind-hole), equivalent to wind +‎ eye. Cognate with Scots wyndo, wyndok, winnock (window), Icelandic vindauga (window), Norwegian vindauga, vindu (window), Danish vindue (window), old German Windauge. The “windows” in these times were just unglazed holes (eyes) in the wall or roof that permitted wind to pass through.



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window (plural windows)

  1. An opening, usually covered by one or more panes of clear glass, to allow light and air from outside to enter a building or vehicle.
    • 1879, Richard Jefferies, chapter 1, The Amateur Poacher:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, [] .
    • 1952, L. F. Salzman, Building in England, page 173:
      A window is an opening in a wall to admit light and air.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, The China Governess[1]:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall.  Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime.
  2. An opening, usually covered by glass, in a shop which allows people to view the shop and its products from outside.
  3. (architecture) The shutter, casement, sash with its fittings, or other framework, which closes a window opening.
  4. A period of time when something is available.
    launch window; window of opportunity
    I have a two-hour window when my wife's out of the house if you want to come round an fool about.
  5. (graphical user interface) A rectangular area on a computer terminal or screen containing some kind of user interface, displaying the output of and allowing input for one of a number of simultaneously running computer processes.
  6. A figure formed of lines crossing each other.
    • King
      till he has windows on his bread and butter

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window (third-person singular simple present windows, present participle windowing, simple past and past participle windowed)

  1. (transitive) To furnish with windows.
  2. (transitive) To place at or in a window.
    Wouldst thou be windowed in great Rome and see / Thy master thus with pleach'd arms, bending down / His corrigible neck? — Shakespeare.