The English language-word window originates from the Old Norse 'vindauga', from 'vindr – wind' and 'auga – eye', i.e., wind eye. In Norwegian Nynorsk and Icelandic the Old Norse form has survived to this day (in Icelandic only as a less used word for a type of small open "window", not strictly a synonym for gluggi, the Icelandic word for window), in Swedish the word vindöga remains as a term for a hole through the roof of a hut, and in the Danish language 'vindue' and Norwegian Bokmål 'vindu', the direct link to 'eye' is lost, just like for 'window'. The Danish (but not the Bokmål) word is pronounced fairly similarly to window.
EN 12519 is the European standard that describes windows terms officially used in EU Member States. The main terms are: Light, or Lite, Lattice light, Fixed window, Sash unit, Replacement window, New construction window, Lintel, Window sill, Secondary glazing, and Decorative millwork.
In the 13th century BC, the earliest windows were unglazed openings in a roof to admit light during the day. Later,[when?] windows were covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood. Shutters that could be opened and closed came next.[when?] Over time, windows were built that both protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light, using multiple small pieces of translucent material, such as flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, thin slices of marble, for example fengite, or pieces of glass, set in frameworks of wood, iron or lead. In the Far East, paper was used to fill windows. The Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology likely first produced in Roman Egypt. Namely, in Alexandria ca. 100 AD cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical properties, began to appear, but these were small thick productions, little more than blown glass jars (cylindrical shapes) flattened out into sheets with circular striation patterns throughout. It would be over a millennium before a window glass became transparent enough to see through clearly, as we think of it now.
A multi-lite window is a window glazed with small panes of glass separated by wooden or lead glazing bars, or muntins, arranged in a decorative glazing pattern often dictated by the building's architectural style. Due to the historic unavailability of large panes of glass, the multi-lit (or lattice window) was the most common window style until the beginning of the 20th century, and is still used in traditional architecture.