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1

buttress

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noun but·tress \ˈbə-trəs\

Simple Definition of buttress

  • : a structure built against a wall in order to support or strengthen it

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of buttress

  1. 1 :  a projecting structure of masonry or wood for supporting or giving stability to a wall or building

  2. 2 :  something that resembles a buttress: as a :  a projecting part of a mountain or hill b :  a horny protuberance on a horse's hoof at the heel — see hoof illustration c :  the broadened base of a tree trunk or a thickened vertical part of it

  3. 3 :  something that supports or strengthens <a buttress of the cause of peace>

buttressed play \-trəst\ adjective

Examples of buttress in a sentence

  1. <the mother had always been the buttress of our family in trying times>

  2. <after the wall collapsed, the construction company agreed to rebuild it with a buttress>



Did You Know?

A buttress is an exterior support projecting from a wall that is used to resist the sideways force, also called thrust, created by the load on an arch or roof. Its name was first adopted into English as "butres" in the 14th century. It came to us from the Anglo-French (arche) boteraz, meaning "thrusting (arch)," and ultimately derives from the verb "buter," "to thrust." "Buter" is also the source of our verb butt, meaning "to thrust, push, or strike with the head or horns." Relatively soon, "buttress" came to be used figuratively for anything that supports or strengthens something else. In addition, it was also in the 14th century that "buttress" was first used as a verb meaning "to support or strengthen," literally and figuratively.

Illustration of buttress

Origin of buttress

Middle English butres, from Anglo-French (arche) boteraz thrusting (arch), ultimately from buter to thrust — more at butt


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Architecture Terms


2

buttress

verb but·tress

Simple Definition of buttress

  • : to support, strengthen, or defend (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of buttress

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to furnish or shore up with a buttress; also :  support, strengthen <arguments buttressed by solid facts>

Examples of buttress in a sentence

  1. The treaty will buttress the cause of peace.

  2. The theory has been buttressed by the results of the experiment.



14th Century

First Known Use of buttress

14th century

Other Architecture Terms


BUTTRESS Defined for Kids

1

buttress

play
noun but·tress \ˈbə-trəs\

Definition of buttress for Students

  1. 1 :  a structure built against a wall or building to give support and strength

  2. 2 :  something that supports, props, or strengthens




2

buttress

play
verb but·tress

Definition of buttress for Students

buttressedbuttressing

  1. :  to support or strengthen :  to support with or as if with a buttress





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