Mantel or Mantle?

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
What is the difference between mantel and mantle?

The noun mantel is a decorative protruding shelf over a fireplace. For everything else, use mantle.


The noun mantel is the ornamental shelf above a fireplace.

  • I have an Oscar on my mantel.
  • The mantel on my fireplace is made from Italian marble.


The word mantle is a noun with many meanings.

Mantle: A sleeveless coat or a cloak.

  • The child was wrapped tightly in his mother's mantle.

Mantle: Something that covers.

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

Mantle: The layer of the Earth between the crust and the outer core.

  • In some places under the ocean, the mantle is actually exposed on the surface of Earth.
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

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? What are nouns? List of easily confused words