- The definition of an easel is a standing frame used for holding something.
An example of an easel is what a painter uses to hold their canvas.
One type of wooden easel.
easel definition by Webster's New World
Origin: 17th circa ; from Dutch ezel (Ger esel), ass, ultimately ; from Classical Latin asellus, diminutive of asinus, ass: for sense, compare French chevalet, easel, literally , little horse and amp; sawhorse
easel definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Dutch ezel, ass, from Middle Dutch esel, from Latin asellus, diminutive of asinus.Word History: “A painter's ass” is not a phrase that immediately brings to mind an accessory to the artist's profession. But easel comes to us from the Dutch word ezel, meaning “ass, donkey.” The Dutch word was eventually extended to mean “an upright frame for displaying or supporting something,” in the same way that the English word horse has come to mean “a piece of gymnastic equipment with an upholstered body.” Developments such as these illustrate the playfulness or wit that speakers often bring to language, here applying the name for one object to another with similar properties.