"end of a ridged roof cut off in a vertical plane, together with the wall from the level of the eaves to the apex," mid-14c., "a gable of a building; a facade," from Old French gable "facade, front, gable," from Old Norse gafl "gable, gable-end" (in north of England, the word probably is directly from Norse), according to Watkins, probably from Proto-Germanic *gablaz "top of a pitched roof" (source also of Middle Dutch ghevel, Dutch gevel, Old High German gibil, German Giebel, Gothic gibla "gable"). This is traced to a PIE *ghebh-el- "head," which seems to have yielded words meaning both "fork" (such as Old English gafol, geafel, Old Saxon gafala, Dutch gaffel, Old High German gabala "pitchfork," German Gabel "fork;" Old Irish gabul "forked twig") and "head" (such as Old High German gibilla, Old Saxon gibillia "skull"). See cephalo-.
Possibly the primitive meaning of the words may have been 'top', 'vertex'; this may have given rise to the sense of 'gable', and this latter to the sense of 'fork', a gable being originally formed by two pieces of timber crossed at the top supporting the end of the roof-tree. [OED]
Related: Gabled; gables; gable-end.
"small wheel with teeth to gear with a larger one" (as in rack and pinion), 1650s, from French pignon "pinion" (16c.), literally "a gable," from Old French pignon "pointed gable, summit," from Vulgar Latin *pinnionem, augmentative of Latin pinna "battlement, pinnacle" (see pin (n.)). Pinoun as "a gable" was borrowed from Old French in Middle English (late 13c.).
"ornament at the top of a spire, gable, etc.," mid-15c., from fyniall "putting an end to, binding" (early 15c.), a variant of final.
early 14c., croket, "ornamental roll or lock of hair," from Anglo-French crocket, from northern French form of Old French crochet, croquet, literally "a hook" (see crochet (n.)). In medieval architecture, "pointed ornamental device on a sloping pinnacle, gable, etc.," late 14c. Related: Crocketed.
1550s, "a tuft or plume of feathers," especially as worn in a hat or helmet, from French pennache "tuft of feathers," from Italian pennaccio, from Late Latin pinnaculum "small wing, gable, peak" (see pinnacle). Figurative sense of "display, swagger" is recorded from 1898 (in translation of "Cyrano de Bergerac"), from French.
c. 1300, "mountain top, sharp peak, promontory," from Old French pinacle "top, gable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin pinnaculum "peak, pinnacle, gable," extended form (via diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin pinna "peak, point," (see pin (n.)). Figurative use is attested from c. 1400. The meaning "pointed turret on the buttress or roof of a building" is from late 14c.
Its constructive object is to give greater weight to the member which it crowns, in order that this may better resist some lateral pressure. The application of the term is generally limited to an ornamental spire-shaped structure, standing on parapets, angles, and buttresses, and often adorned with rich and varied devices. [Century Dictionary]
1630s, in astronomy/astrology, "position of a heavenly body when it is on the meridian," from French culmination, noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin culminare "to top, to crown," from Latin culmen (genitive culminis) "top, peak, summit, roof, gable," also used figuratively, contraction of columen "top, summit" (from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill"). Figurative sense of "highest point or summit" is from 1650s.
1640s, in astronomy, of a star or planet, "come to or be on the highest point of altitude; come to or be on the meridian," from Late Latin culminatus past participle of culminare "to top, to crown," from Latin culmen (genitive culminis) "top, peak, summit, roof, gable," also used figuratively, a contraction of columen "top, summit" (from PIE root *kel- (2) "to be prominent; hill"). Figurative sense in English of "reach the highest point" is from 1660s. Related: Culminant; culminated; culminating.