LINTEL (O. Fr. lintel, mod. linteau, from Late Lat. limitellum, limes, boundary, confused in sense with limen, threshold; the Latin name is supercilium, Ital. soprasogli, and Ger. Sturz), in architecture, a horizontal piece of stone or timber over a doorway or opening, provided to carry the superstructure. In order to relieve the lintel from too great a pressure a " discharging arch " is generally built over it.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)