Is there a specific term I could use in a floor plan for the doorway leading from one room to another? For example: a person is in the living room and looks through the "doorway" that leads into the kitchen. Obviously there is no door, but is this opening still referred to as a doorway?

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    It's acceptable to say "doorway" for a door frame with no door in it, or even a door-sized gap with no frame at all. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:27
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    entrance is fine also, the word doesn't imply a door , and is used commonly ( google "Kitchen entrance" to see).
    – P. O.
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:44
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    "Passageway" is a fairly generic term for such an opening.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 17:25
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    To me (as a Brit), "passageway" & "corridor" both imply that there is some length to the aperture; whereas I would expect a "doorway" to have no 'length' beyond the thickness of the wall in which it is an aperture.
    – TrevorD
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 11:58
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    Not sure if technically a dupe, as this exists - but on a different SE site: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/16371/…
    – SeanR
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 16:15

9 Answers 9


Doorway would indeed be acceptable. Consider that, if the doorway has a door, you cannot see through to the other side unless the door is open. In this case, depending on your angle and the location of the door, it is perfectly possible that the door is entirely invisible. If so, its existence or non-existence is irrelevant to your perception of the doorway (or frame). So doorway is applicable regardless of the existence of a door.

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    I hate it when I leave my doo open. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 19:37
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    @GalacticCowboy - Me too. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 19:40

If it's curved it's an archway.

If it's entirely right angles it's a trabeation.

trabeated: designed or constructed with horizontal beams or lintels –MW

Credit to The Sims 4, calling some of them post-and-lintel entry frames and describing one as trabeated.

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    I'd like to point out that I've never heard the word "trabeation" in colloquial English, and it's such a rare word that every spell check I have marks it as a typo.
    – anon
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 21:03
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    I've never heard a complaint about calling a square archway an archway.
    – Weaver
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 3:02
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    I'm not 100% convinced trabeation applies since it seems to refer more to ancient architecture involving stone columns. I could be wrong though.
    – Pharap
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 4:18
  • It's rather obscure but it is specifically, "The use of beams in architectural construction, rather than arches or vaulting." –OD
    – Mazura
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 4:46
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    @StarWeaver, let me fix that for you - I'll complain. If there's no curves, it is not an archway. Ever.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 14:11

You might consider entryway and entranceway.


A passage for affording entrance.

Word Origin: (1740-1750); Americanism; entry + way

Random House

Peeking his head through the entryway, he saw a tiny figure hunched over a lathe in the dark interior of the room. The Temple of thé Wild Geese

This is an odd type of room—no windows at all—and no door in the entranceway—There must be a door. How did I get in here? Tumbleweeds: An Authentic Collection of Windblown Tales of Americana Caught in the Cross Hair

There's no door in the entryway to the structure, and you suddenly understand that one is not necessary. What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower

Google Books

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    But what if an "Exit Only" sign is hanging over it?!
    – talrnu
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 13:32
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    What if it's a jar??
    – Anthony
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 6:47
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    If it's a jar, clearly it isn't a door. ;) Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 7:37
  • @talrnu You wouldn't see that from the outside.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 0:04
  • why not just entry or entrance?
    – jk.
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 14:05

The technical term for this is:

cased opening


An interior doorway or opening with all the trim and molding installed, but without a door or closure.


For an entrance between two rooms without the door trimmings, I would therefore suggest simply "opening".

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    Only if it's cased, otherwise it's just an opening.
    – Mazura
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 20:22
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    Regardless, most people would refer to it just as an "opening". I think this is the best answer.
    – Ian Goldby
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 15:34
  • Following the comments, I've amended the answer to include simply "Opening".
    – SeanR
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 8:23


  1. A doorway, entrance, or gate, especially one that is large and imposing.


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    I wouldn't call the doorway between my kitchen and living room a "portal". Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:27
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    You might not, but that doesn't mean it isn't a word for it. I've often heard the term portal used when discussing the layout of houses, for more than just doorways (such as service hatches) @MaxWilliams
    – SGR
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:28
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    ...which isn't to say you're wrong, just that it's not a common usage of the word. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:28
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    @MaxWilliams In a sense, it's literally the same word. "Portal" (from porta - door) is just Latin for "doorway".
    – Superbest
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 23:53
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    @MaxWilliams I would, but the fact my kitchen and living room are in Aperture Science's underground complex might have something to do with that.
    – Pharap
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 4:22

In the UK, estate agents' descriptions of property distinguish between a "doorway" (i.e. what the OP describes) and a "door". For example "Entrance Hall ... doorways to various rooms, door to:- Guest Cloakroom ..." (quote from http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-17919543.html) The photos in the link show that one of the "doorways" between two rooms has no door.

In a properly drawn floor plan it should obvious whether or not there is a door in a particular location, without any verbal description.


I think that calling it a doorway is valid, for many of the good reasons that others have pointed out, however, it does also have to do with exactly what information you may or may not be trying to convey.

For instance, if you were describing an apartment to a prospective renter, they might be interested to know whether or not there are doors on the doorway; calling it a doorway does leave open the possibility that there might be doors. If you wanted to emphasize that there are no doors, then calling it an archway, or some other term, might be more precise.


If it has all the trim and molding of a doorway, just there is no door, then you'd call that a cased opening: http://www.dictionaryofconstruction.com/definition/cased-opening.html

But as others have said, we'd be getting too technical here. Doorway would still be understood and accepted everywhere but in the most snobbish or English circles.


Threshold would also work here, I believe. A threshold applies to an entrance with or without a door, though it refers to the division between one side and the other.

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    A threshold is the strip of wood/stone/metal/etc. affixed to the floor in the doorway. That is why we carry our bride over the threshold not through the threshold.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 20:34
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    Downvoting because incorrect, Erik points out. Doubly inappropriate in an architectural context (what OP wants).
    – Superbest
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 23:54
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    I'm in disagreement with the downvotes. I've found several dictionaries where the second or third entries state that a threshold is a doorway or entrance. Colloquially it is common to use that in its concrete as well as abstract sense, and I found no reference that stated that it only referred to the literal structure affixed to the floor and ended with that. Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 16:32

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