AskDefine | Define hinge

Dictionary Definition



1 a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing relative to the other [syn: flexible joint]
2 a circumstance upon which subsequent events depend; "his absence is the hinge of our plan" v : attach with a hinge

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A jointed or flexible device that allows the pivoting of a door etc. See also pintel.
  2. A folded and gummed paper rectangle for affixing postage stamps in an album.
  3. A point in time, on which subsequent events depend.

Derived terms


device for the pivoting of a door
  • Czech: pant
  • Dutch: scharnier
  • French: gond
  • German: Angel, Scharnier
  • Greek: μεντεσές (mentesés)
  • Norwegian: hengsel
  • Russian: петля
  • Spanish: bisagra , gozne , charnela
paper rectangle for affixing postage stamps
point in time, on which subsequent events depend
translations to be checked


  1. To attach by, or equip with a hinge.
  2. To depend on something.
  3. archaeology The breaking off of the distal end of a knapped stone flake whose presumed course across the face of the stone core was truncated prematurely, leaving not a feathered distal end but instead the scar of a nearly perpendicular break.
    The flake hinged at an inclusion in the core.


to attach by
  • Norwegian: hengsle
to depend on something
  • Norwegian: avhenge


Verb form

  1. first- and third-person singular subjunctive past of hängen

Extensive Definition

A hinge is a type of bearing that connects two solid objects, typically allowing only a limited angle of rotation between them. Hinges may be made of flexible material or of moving components. In biology, many joints function as hinges. They are also known as shangles in old tudorian English (the large hinges on doors). Hinge-like structures are employed in many types of movable bridges.

Door hinges

Ancient pivot hinges, found in the dry stone buildings.
There are many types of door hinges. Four main types include:
  • Pivot Hinges, which pivot in openings in the floor and the top of the door frame. Also referred to as a double-acting floor hinge. This type is found already in ancient dry stone buildings.
  • Butt/Mortise Hinges, usually in threes or fours, which are inset (mortised) into the door and frame. Most residential hinges found in the U.S. are made of steel, although mortise hinges for outswing doors are often made of brass or stainless steel base to prevent corrosion.
  • Continuous Hinges, which run the entire length of the door (also known as "Piano Hinges")
  • Concealed Hinges used for furniture doors (with or without self-closing feature, and with or without dampening systems). They are made of 2 parts: One part is the hinge cup and the arm; the other part is the mounting plate.
  • Butterfly or Parliament (UK) Hinges. These were known as Dovetail hinges from the 17th century onwards and can be found on old desks and cabinets from about 1670 until the 18th century. The form of these hinges varied slightly between manufacturers, and their size ranged from the very large for heavy doors to the tiniest decorative hinge for use on jewellery caskets. Many hinges of this type were exported to America to support the home trade's limited supply. They are still found to be both fairly cheap and decorative, especially on small items.
  • Strap hinge - Strap hinges are an early hinge and used on many kinds of interior and exterior doors and cabinets.
  • H Hinges - Shaped like an H and used on flush mounted doors. Small H hinges (3" to 4") tend to be used for cabinets hinges, while larger hinges (6" to 7") are for passage doors or closet doors.
  • HL Hinges - Large HL hinges were common for passage doors, room doors and closet doors in the 17th, 18th and even 19th centuries. On taller doors H hinges were occasionally used in the middle along with the HL hinges.
Other types include:
  • Counterflap Hinge
  • Flush Hinge
  • Coach Hinge
  • Rising Butt Hinge
  • Double action spring hinge
  • Tee Hinge
  • Friction Hinge
  • Security Hinge
  • Cranked or 'Stormproof' Hinge
  • Lift-off Hinges
  • Self closing Hinges
  • Butt Hinge

Building access hinges

Since at least medieval times there have been hinges to drawbridges for defensive purposes for fortified buildings. Hinges are used in contemporary architecture where building settlement can be expected over the life of the building. For example, the Dakin Building, California was designed with its entrance ramp on a large hinge to allow settlement of the building built on piles over bay mud. This device has been effective.

Other Hinges

  • Butler Tray Hinge - Fold to 90 degrees and also snap flat. They are for tables that have a tray top for serving.
  • Card Table Hinge - Mortised into edge of antique or reproduction card tables and allow the top to fold onto itself.
  • Drop Leaf Table Hinge - Mounted under the surface of a table with leaves that drop down. They are most commonly used with rule joints.

External links

hinge in Aragonese: Aldaba
hinge in Czech: Pant
hinge in German: Scharnier
hinge in Spanish: Bisagra
hinge in Esperanto: Ĉarniro
hinge in French: Charnière (menuiserie)
hinge in Scottish Gaelic: Banntach
hinge in Italian: Cerniera (meccanica)
hinge in Luxembourgish: Jarnéier
hinge in Dutch: Scharnier
hinge in Japanese: 蝶番
hinge in Polish: Zawias
hinge in Portuguese: Dobradiça
hinge in Simple English: Hinge
hinge in Swedish: Gångjärn
hinge in Ukrainian: Шарнір
hinge in Chinese: 铰链

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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