Mantel or Mantle?

by Craig Shrives

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.
  • "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.
    • A mantle of snow covered the lawn.
    • The Earth's mantle makes up 67% of the mass of the Earth.
    • The mantle has been passed to you now, son.
mantel or mantle


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

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


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.

(2) Something that covers.

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

(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.
(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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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? List of easily confused words

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