The definition of an easel is a standing frame used for holding something.(noun)
An example of an easel is what a painter uses to hold their canvas.
See easel in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: 17th c. < Du ezel (Ger esel), ass, ult. < L asellus, dim. of asinus, ass: for sense, cf. Fr chevalet, easel, lit., little horse & sawhorse
See easel in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Dutch ezel, ass
Origin: , from Middle Dutch esel
Origin: , from Latin asellus
Origin: , 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.
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