Volutes on neoclassical Ionic capitals of a modern building
Volute of the shell of a living specimen of Voluta ebraea
Diagrammatic section of the volute of a centrifugal pump
Volute typical of a stringed musical instrument, on the scroll of a double bass


From French volute, from Italian voluta, from Latin volūta, from the feminine of volūtus, perfect passive participle of volvō. Doublet of vault.


  • IPA(key): /vəˈluːt/
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 Volute on Wikipedia

volute (plural volutes)

  1. (architecture) The characteristic spiral curve on an Ionic capital, widely copied in other styles and in neoclassical architecture.
    • 1856, Edward Shaw, The Modern Architect, Or, Every Carpenter His Own Master:
      This example is much richer, yet no less elegant, than the other; the volute, instead of a single spiral, is formed by three; the sculptured echinus beneath is surmounted by a guilloched moulding, and separated from the shaft by a neck []
  2. (zoology) The spirals or whorls on a gastropod's shell.
  3. (zoology) Any marine gastropod of the family Volutidae.
    • 2002, Don Philpott, Florida: Gulf Coast[1], page 16:
      Common shells include frog-shells, distorsios, volutes, tulips, murex, cones, olives, marginellas, cowries, augers and the Florida horse conch, the state's official shell, which can grow up to 24in (6 1 cm) long.
  4. (engineering) The casing in a centrifugal pump, whose shape is somewhat similar to architectural volutes.
  5. (art) A spiral or scroll form.
  6. (music) A scroll-shaped carving at the tuning head of a stringed musical instrument, similar to architectural volutes.

Derived termsEdit



The double volute spring in these shears automatically opens the blades when the user's grip relaxes

volute (not comparable)

  1. (engineering) Of a spring: having a spiral curve on its tail.




volute f (plural volutes)

  1. (architecture) volute
  2. (music, lutherie) scroll (of a musical instrument)




  1. feminine plural of the past participle of volere




  1. vocative masculine singular of volūtus