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Mantel or Mantle?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between mantel and mantle?

The noun mantel is a decorative protruding shelf over a fireplace. For everything else, use mantle.

Mantel

The noun mantel is the ornamental shelf above a fireplace.

Examples:
  • I have an Oscar on my mantel.
  • The mantel on my fireplace is made from Italian marble.

Mantle

The word mantle is a noun with many meanings.

Mantle: A sleeveless coat or a cloak.

Example:
  • The child was wrapped tightly in his mother's mantle.

Mantle: Something that covers.

Example:
  • The cabins in the resort were covered by a fresh mantle of snow.

Mantle: The layer of the Earth between the crust and the outer core.

Example:
  • In some places under the ocean, the mantle is actually exposed on the surface of Earth.
Quick Test
 
 
Top Tip

A Way to Remember Mantel

Let the el in mantel remind you of shelf.