(redirected from archivolts)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.
Related to archivolts: Compound piers, jambs


A decorative molding carried around an arched wall opening.

[Italian archivolto or French archivolte (French, from Italian) : arco, arch (from Latin arcus) + volta, vault (from Latin volūta; see vault1).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Architecture) a moulding around an arch, sometimes decorated
2. (Architecture) the under surface of an arch
[C18: from Italian archivolto; see arc, vault1]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈɑr kəˌvoʊlt)

a molded or decorated band around an arch or forming an archlike frame for an opening.
[1725–35; < French archivolte < Italian archivolto < Medieval Latin *archivoltum; see arch1, vault1]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Medieval architecture in Wallachia and Moldavia is unmistakably Byzantine with some admixture of Islamic art motifs (Turkish, Armenian, Georgian or Persian), but in Moldavia, unlike Wallachia, there are elements of Gothic church architecture clearly visible in the gently arched or sharply pointed shape of doors and windows (a few of them deeply recessed, with archivolts and occasionally painted, rarely sculptured, tympanums, and with Gothic tracery), in the presence of buttresses, some of them stepped (of which few reach up to the roof, but most of them don't), and in the window-and-door frames and mouldings (scotias, toruses, ovolos and fillets) and other ornamental decorations (blind arcading, niches, ceramic roundels) of a number of churches, some of them with ribbed vaulting (e.g.
Open Access explores the history, development, and accrued connotations of a distinctive entry configuration comprised of a set of concentrically stepped archivolts surrounding a deliberate tympanum-free portal opening.
During these latter periods the porches with their tympanums, archivolts, columns and galleries as well as other parts of the buildings were lavishly decorated with figures ostensibly intended to support liturgical text (Fleming, 1995: 208-209).