buttress

noun
but·​tress | \ ˈbə-trəs How to pronounce buttress (audio) \

Definition of buttress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 architecture : a projecting structure of masonry or wood for supporting or giving stability to a wall or building
2 : something that resembles a buttress: such as
a : a projecting part of a mountain or hill
b biology : a horny protuberance on a horse's hoof at the heel — see hoof illustration
c botany : the broadened base of a tree trunk or a thickened vertical part of it
3 : something that supports or strengthens a buttress of the cause of peace

buttress

verb
buttressed; buttressing; buttresses

Definition of buttress (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

architecture : to give support or stability to (a wall or building) with a projecting structure of masonry or wood : to furnish or shore up with a buttress (see buttress entry 1 sense 1) also : support, strengthen arguments buttressed by solid facts

Illustration of buttress

Illustration of buttress

Noun

buttress 1

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from buttress

Noun

buttressed \ ˈbə-​trəst How to pronounce buttress (audio) \ adjective

Did You Know?

Noun

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.

Examples of buttress in a Sentence

Noun the mother had always been the buttress of our family in trying times after the wall collapsed, the construction company agreed to rebuild it with a buttress Verb The treaty will buttress the cause of peace. The theory has been buttressed by the results of the experiment.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun These nonscholarly mentions buttress reports that open access enables a broader audience, beyond the core scientific community, to read research findings. Jeffrey Brainard, Science | AAAS, "A new mandate highlights costs, benefits of making all scientific articles free to read," 1 Jan. 2021 At their base are permanent floating ice shelves that act as a buttress to the fast-flowing ice behind it. Helen Regan, CNN, "Ice shelves propping up two major Antarctic glaciers are breaking up and it could have major consequences for sea level rise," 15 Sep. 2020 The whole point was to build an imperfect buttress for my own discomfort. Daisy Alioto, Longreads, "House of the Century," 10 Aug. 2020 The Speedster's top unlatches from the windshield and unlocks the buttresses electrically, but the rest of the operation requires human assistance. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2019 Porsche Speedster Makes a Case for Less Is More," 27 Mar. 2020 The engine can also cool itself better now because of new air ducts in the GT's massive rear buttresses that increase airflow by 50 percent. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "2020 Ford GT Has More Power, Louder Exhaust," 6 Feb. 2020 In contrast to the sobriety of the shaft, the mooring mast rises 200 feet above the 86th-floor observatory, a glowing glass tube with exuberant Art Deco bird-wing buttresses. James S. Russell, New York Times, "The Empire State Building: Renewing the Affair," 17 Sep. 2019 There’s also under-vault storage akin to that of the Honda Ridgeline, and there appear to be gear lockers in the rear buttresses, a storage location akin to the Rambox. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Is the Tesla Cybertruck for Real?," 22 Nov. 2019 Pena Palace, Portugal Inspired by German Romantic architecture, Pena Palace—situated on top of a hill in Sintra—looks like a Disney castle with its pink and yellow towers, ornamental buttresses, and cartoonish gargoyles. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 24 Most Beautiful Castles in Europe," 8 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Since then the town’s population has dwindled, from nearly 5,000 to less than 3,000, and there is a yearning to recapture some of its railroad past and buttress its tourist economy. New York Times, "In Rural Montana, a Hope That Biden Will Reopen the Rails," 24 Jan. 2021 Fox News Channel, another network popular with Trump supporters, is not being sued and Coomer actually uses Fox's Tucker Carlson to buttress his case. David Bauder, ajc, "Dominion worker sues Trump campaign and conservative media," 5 Jan. 2021 Indeed, this is the same worry expressed by many critics of the Baker piece—that loose speculation of this kind could be taken up by reckless or malicious actors, then used to buttress other, more harmful notions such as vaccine skepticism. Roger Pielke Jr., Wired, "If Covid-19 Did Start With a Lab Leak, Would We Ever Know?," 16 Jan. 2021 Now, after local demonstrations by anti-mask groups at shopping malls, grocery stores and homeless encampments, the council moved Wednesday to buttress restrictions and stiffen financial penalties. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Where the vaccine rollout went wrong," 14 Jan. 2021 In fact, specific individuals identified online as antifa to buttress this conspiracy are known Trump supporters. Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press, "United by disinformation, Trump's supporters share dueling accounts of Jan. 6 insurrection," 10 Jan. 2021 In 2000, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to buttress these protections. Steve Chapman Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "White supremacists deserve First Amendment protection," 20 Dec. 2020 In 2000, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to buttress these protections. Steve Chapman Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "White supremacists deserve First Amendment protection," 20 Dec. 2020 Fox News Channel, another network popular with Trump supporters, is not being sued and Coomer actually uses Fox’s Tucker Carlson to buttress his case. David Bauder, Anchorage Daily News, "Dominion worker sues Trump campaign and conservative media," 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buttress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of buttress

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for buttress

Noun and Verb

Middle English butres, from Anglo-French (arche) boteraz thrusting (arch), ultimately from buter to thrust — more at butt entry 3

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Time Traveler for buttress

Time Traveler

The first known use of buttress was in the 14th century

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Statistics for buttress

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Buttress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buttress. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for buttress

buttress

noun

English Language Learners Definition of buttress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

buttress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of buttress (Entry 2 of 2)

: to support, strengthen, or defend (something)

buttress

noun
but·​tress | \ ˈbə-trəs How to pronounce buttress (audio) \

Kids Definition of buttress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a structure built against a wall or building to give support and strength
2 : something that supports, props, or strengthens

buttress

verb
buttressed; buttressing

Kids Definition of buttress (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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