buttress

buttress n Buttress, pier, abutment are architectural terms for auxiliary structures designed to serve as a prop, shore, or support for a wall (as of a building). A buttress is a structure (as of masonry) projecting from and supporting a wall and often designed especially for receiving and carrying the outward pressure or thrust exerted on the wall by the weight of an arch or vault. In a flying buttress the pressure or thrust is carried over an open space. A pier is a thickened piece of masonry designed to stiffen a wall. A pier may be built as a part of the wall or it may be a detached mass used as the vertical part of a flying buttress and carrying the thrust of a masonry bar or rod extending between it and the wall. An abutment is the particular section of either a buttress or a pier which actually receives the pressure or thrust exerted by the weight of an arch or vault.
In bridge building an abutment is the support at either extreme end of the structure or, by extension, the anchorage of the cables for a suspension bridge; a pier is any intermediate support between the ends of a bridge.
buttress vb *support, sustain, prop, bolster, brace
Analogous words: uphold, back, champion (see SUPPORT): *strengthen, reinforce, fortify: *defend, protect, shield, guard

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Buttress — But tress, n. [OE. butrasse, boterace, fr. F. bouter to push; cf. OF. bouteret (nom. sing. and acc. pl. bouterez) buttress. See {Butt} an end, and cf. {Butteris}.] 1. (Arch.) A projecting mass of masonry, used for resisting the thrust of an arch …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Buttress — • A pilaster, pier, or body of masonry projecting beyond the main face of the wall and intended to strengthen the wall at particular points Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Buttress     Buttress …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • buttress — [bu′tris] n. [ME boteras < OFr bouterez, pl. of bouteret, flying buttress < buter: see BUTT2] 1. a projecting structure, generally of brick or stone, built against a wall to support or reinforce it 2. anything like a buttress; support or… …   English World dictionary

  • Buttress — But tress, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Buttressed} (?); p. pr. & vb. n. {Buttressing}.] To support with a buttress; to prop; to brace firmly. [1913 Webster] To set it upright again, and to prop and buttress it up for duration. Burke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • buttress — early 14c., from O.Fr. botrez flying buttress, lit. buttressed, pl. of boteret support, from bouter to thrust against, of Frankish origin (Cf. O.N. bauta to strike, beat ), from P.Gmc. *butan, from PIE root *bhau to strike (see BUTT (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • buttress — [n] brace, support abutment, column, mainstay, pier, prop, reinforcement, shore, stanchion, stay, strut, underpinning; concept 440 buttress [v] support, bolster back up, beef up*, brace, build up, bulwark, carry, jack up, jazz up*, prop,… …   New thesaurus

  • buttress — index bear (support), bulwark, corroborate, document, mainstay, maintain (sustain), reaffirm …   Law dictionary

  • buttress — ► NOUN 1) a projecting support built against a wall. 2) a projecting portion of a hill or mountain. ► VERB 1) support with buttresses. 2) support or strengthen. ORIGIN from Old French ars bouterez thrusting arch …   English terms dictionary

  • Buttress — This article is about an architectural structure. For the large tree root, see Buttress root. For slang, see buttocks. A buttress is an architectural structure built against (a counterfort) or projecting from a wall which serves to support or… …   Wikipedia

  • buttress — buttressless, adj. buttresslike, adj. /bu tris/, n. 1. any external prop or support built to steady a structure by opposing its outward thrusts, esp. a projecting support built into or against the outside of a masonry wall. 2. any prop or support …   Universalium

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