noun \pi-ˈlas-tər, ˈpī-ˌlas-\

: a rectangular column that is attached to a wall and that is used for decoration or support

Full Definition of PILASTER

:  an upright architectural member that is rectangular in plan and is structurally a pier but architecturally treated as a column and that usually projects a third of its width or less from the wall

Examples of PILASTER

  1. <the rectangular pilasters spaced along the building's facade lend an air of classical grandeur>

Illustration of PILASTER

Origin of PILASTER

Middle French pilastre, from Italian pilastro
First Known Use: 1575

Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, plinth


noun \pi-ˈlas-tər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PILASTER

: an elongated hardened ridge; especially : a longitudinal bony ridge on the back of the femur


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In Classical architecture, a shallow rectangular column built into a wall and projecting slightly beyond it. It has a capital and base and conforms to one of the orders. In Roman architecture the pilaster gradually became more decorative than structural, and it served to break up otherwise empty expanses of wall.


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