pier

4 ENTRIES FOUND:

pier

In building construction, a vertical load-bearing member such as an intermediate support for adjacent ends of two bays or spans. Bulkier than a column but smaller than a wall, a pier can support an arch or beam. The lower portion of a pier may be widened to better distribute the downward pressure of a massive overlying structure. In Romanesque and Gothic architecture, a feature of the nave arcade is the compound pier, which is cross-shaped in cross section, with shafts placed in the recesses.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on pier, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up pier? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More