AskDefine | Define soffit

Dictionary Definition

soffit n : the underside of a part of a building (such as an arch or overhang or beam etc.)

User Contributed Dictionary



From soffite, from soffitta, from sof- ‘under’ + past participle of figgere ‘to fix’.


  • /ˈsɒfɪt/
    Rhymes with: -ɒfɪ


  1. The visible underside of an arch, balcony, beam, cornice, staircase, vault or any other architectural element.
  2. In the context of "pipe technology": The top point of the inside open section of a pipe or box conduit.
    The elevation of the pipe soffit is 10.4 meters above mean sea level.

External links

Extensive Definition

Soffit (from French soffite, Italian soffitto, formed as a ceiling; directly from suffictus for suffixus, Latin suffigere, to fix underneath), in architecture, describes the underside of any construction element. Examples of soffits include:
  • the underside of an arch or architrave (whether supported by piers or columns),
  • the underside of a flight of stairs, under the classical entablature,
  • the underside of a projecting cornice, or
  • the underside of a ceiling to fill the space above the kitchen cabinets, at the corner of the ceiling and wall.
In popular use, soffit most often refers to the material forming a ceiling from the top of an exterior house wall to the outer edge of the roof, i.e., bridging the gap between a home's siding and the roofline, otherwise known as the eaves.
Soffit exposure profile (from wall to fascia) on a buildings' exterior can vary from a few centimetres (2-3 inches) to well beyond a meter (3 feet) depending on construction. It can be non-ventilated or ventilated for cooling non livable attic space.

See also


soffit in French: Soffite
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