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newel   WordNet 2.0

- the central pillar of a circular staircase

 
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- the post at the top or bottom of a flight of stairs

- it supports the handrail

 
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Newel   Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

1. A novelty; a new thing. [Obs.] Spenser.

 
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1. The upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind; hence, in stairs having straight flights, the principal post at the foot of a staircase, or the secondary ones at the landings. See Hollow newel, under Hollow.

 
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