Mantel or Mantle?

What Is the Difference between "Mantel" and "Mantle"?

"Mantel" and "mantle" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms). However, their meanings are very different.
  • "Mantel" is a decorative protruding shelf over a fireplace. For example:
    • Do not keep your firelighters on the mantel. correct tick
  • "Mantle" is a sleeveless coat, a covering, the layer under the Earth's crust, or an important role. For example:
    • It's not a cloak or a shawl. It's a mantle. correct tick
    • A mantle of snow covered the lawn. correct tick
    • The Earth's mantle makes up 67% of the mass of the Earth. correct tick
    • The mantle has been passed to you now, son. correct tick
mantel or mantle


The noun "mantel" is the ornamental shelf above a fireplace.

Example sentences with "mantel":
  • I have an Oscar on my mantel. correct tick
  • The mantel on my fireplace is made from Italian marble. correct tick


The word "mantle" is a noun with four main meanings.

(1) A sleeveless coat or a cloak

For example:
  • The child was wrapped tightly in his mother's mantle. correct tick

(2) Something that covers

For example:
  • The cabins in the resort were covered by a fresh mantle of snow. correct tick

(3) The layer of the Earth between the crust and the outer core

For example:
  • In some places under the ocean, the mantle is actually exposed on the surface of Earth. correct tick

(4) An important role or responsibility

For example:
  • Probably in 2035, the US will pass that mantle on to China. It will be the biggest economy in the world, and it will go way past us and way past India. (US billionaire David Rubenstein)

Remembering "Mantel"

Let the el in mantel remind you of shelf.
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.