/ vɒlt /
burial vault · bank vault · hurdle
ETYM Old Eng. voute, Old Fren. voute, volte, French voűte, Late Lat. volta, for voluta, volutio, from Latin volvere, volutum, to roll, to turn about. Related to Voluble, Vault a leap, Volt a turn, Volute.
Arched ceiling or roof built mainly of stone or bricks.
Of the many different types of vault, the barrel vault or tunnel vault is the simplest form of semicylindrical ceiling, consisting of a continuous line of semicircular or pointed vaults. Supporting walls usually require buttresses to contain the thrust of the vault.
The fan vault, characteristic of Gothic architecture, is composed of a number of intersecting sections of cones, which are often highly decorated. The groin vault is formed by the intersection of barrel vaults running at right angles to each other.
1. A burial chamber (usually underground); SYN. burial vault.
2. A compartment or room (often made of steel) for safekeeping of valuables; SYN. bank vault.
3. An arched brick or stone ceiling or roof.
4. The act of vaulting; SYN. hurdle.