Webster 1913 Edition



, of uncertain origin: cf. F.
The porch or entrance into a house; a hall or antechamber next the entrance; a lobby; a porch; a hall.
Vestibule of the ear
See under
Vestibule of the vulva
a triangular space between the nymphae, in which the orifice of the urethra is situated.
Vestibule train
a train of passenger cars having the space between the end doors of adjacent cars inclosed, so as to admit of leaving the doors open to provide for intercommunication between all the cars.
Syn. – Hall; passage.
. A vestibule is a small apartment within the doors of a building. A hall is the first large apartment beyond the vestibule, and, in the United States, is often long and narrow, serving as a passage to the several apartments. In England, the hall is generally square or oblong, and a long, narrow space of entrance is called a passage, not a hall, as in America. Vestibule is often used in a figurative sense to denote a place of entrance. “The citizens of Rome placed the images of their ancestors in the vestibules of their houses.”

Webster 1828 Edition



[L. vestibulum.]
The porch or entrance into a house, or a large open space before the door, but covered. Vestibules for magnificence are usually between the court and garden.
A little antechamber before the entrance of an ordinary apartment.
An apartment in large buildings, which presents itself into a hall or suit of rooms or offices. An area in which a magnificent staircase is carried up is sometimes called a vestibule.
In anatomy, a cavity belonging to the labyrinth of the ear.

Definition 2024



See also: Vestibüle


The vestibule (entrance hall) of Můstek metro station, Prague


vestibule (plural vestibules)

  1. (architecture) A passage, hall or room, such as a lobby, between the outer door and the interior of a building. [from the 17th c.]
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Volume 3, Chapter 9,
      Lydia's voice was heard in the vestibule; the door was thrown open, and she ran into the room.
    • 1913, Vestibule (Porch), article in Catholic Encyclopedia,
      The purpose of the vestibule, at least in western Europe, was not to provide a resting-place for penitents, but to deaden the noise outside.
    • 1929 April, H. P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror, Chapter VI, published in Weird Tales,
      Some instinct warned Armitage that what was taking place was not a thing for unfortified eyes to see, so he brushed back the crowd with authority as he unlocked the vestibule door.
  2. (rail transport) An enclosed entrance at the end of a railway passenger car.
    • 1912, Electric railway journal, Volume XL, Number 14, page 556,
      The exit side of the front vestibule contains a sliding door.
  3. (medicine, anatomy, by extension) Any of a number of body cavities, serving as or resembling an entrance to another bodily space. [from the 18th c.]
    • 1838, Massachusetts Medical Society, New England Surgical Society, Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Volumes 17-18, page 333,
      The membrane of the vestibule in this animal is thrown into three folds. The margins of these folds, looking towards the vestibule, are approximated, and, following the law which is now known to regulate the formation of hollow tubes, doubtless unite and coalesce in the next higher species of fish.
    • 1920, Jacob Parsons Schaeffer, The Nose, paranasal sinuses, nasolacrimal passageways, and olfactory organ in man; a genetic, developmental, and anatomico-physiological consideration, page 73,
      The Vestibule (vestibulum nasi). — The paired vestibule may be considered an antechamber to the nasal fossa.
    • 2001, René Malek, Cleft Lip and Palate: Lesions, Pathophysiology and Primary Treatment, page 79,
      The incision of the mucosa over the premaxilla is traced a millimetre or two from the furrow that marks the bottom of the barely-defined vestibule.

Derived terms

Related terms



vestibule (third-person singular simple present vestibules, present participle vestibuling, simple past and past participle vestibuled)

  1. (transitive) To furnish with a vestibule or vestibules.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Brander Matthews to this entry?)


  • Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, Massachusetts, G.&C. Merriam Co., 1967