newel, n. [OF. nual, F. noyau sone, of fruit, noyau d'escaler newel, fr. L. nucalis like a nut, fr. nux, nucis, nut. Cf. Nowel the inner wall of a mold, Nucleus.].
The upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind; hence, in stairs having straight flights, the principal post at the foot of a staircase, or the secondary ones at the landings. Also called newel post. See Hollow newel, under Hollow. [1913 Webster]