cantilever

noun
can·​ti·​le·​ver | \ ˈkan-tə-ˌlē-vər How to pronounce cantilever (audio) , -ˌle-\

Definition of cantilever

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a projecting beam or member supported at only one end: such as
a : a bracket-shaped member supporting a balcony or a cornice
b : either of the two beams or trusses that project from piers toward each other and that when joined directly or by a suspended connecting member form a span of a cantilever bridge

cantilever

verb
cantilevered; cantilevering; cantilevers

Definition of cantilever (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to support by a cantilever a cantilevered shelf
2 : to build as a cantilever

intransitive verb

: to project as a cantilever

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Did You Know?

Cantilevers hold up a surface or room without themselves being supported at their outer end. Many outdoor balconies are cantilevered, and theater balconies may be as well. A cantilevered bridge may have a huge span (as long as 1,800 feet) built out on either side of a single large foundation pier. Architects sometimes use cantilevered construction to produce dramatic effects; Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" house, which extends out over a rocky river, is a famous example. But the Grand Canyon's "Skywalk" has become perhaps the best-known piece of cantilevered construction in America.

Examples of cantilever in a Sentence

Noun

The porch is supported by steel cantilevers.

Verb

The balcony cantilevers over the terrace below.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Almost treehouse like in its aesthetics, the 2,391-square-foot four-bedroom boasts a series of decks, balconies, walkways, cantilevers, and staircases that creates a dynamic space both inside and out. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Almost treehouse like in its aesthetics, the 2,391-square-foot four-bedroom boasts a series of decks, balconies, walkways, cantilevers, and staircases that creates a dynamic space both inside and out. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Almost treehouse like in its aesthetics, the 2,391-square-foot four-bedroom boasts a series of decks, balconies, walkways, cantilevers, and staircases that creates a dynamic space both inside and out. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Robert and Kim Zielinski’s 7,000-square-foot home, designed by Eric Fisher of Fisher ARCHitecture in Pittsburgh, cantilevers over the top of the couple’s glass manufacturing facility. Kris Frieswick, WSJ, "Luxury Living Off the Edge of a Mountain," 21 Nov. 2018 By bending the cantilever, the researchers could apply a very local strain to the crystal. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 To make their qubit immune to strain, the researchers created a tiny little cantilever sitting just above it. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 The open season for air tours dovetailed nicely with the completion in 2007 of the glass cantilever Skywalk bridge that juts 70 feet over the West Rim’s Eagle Point. Annette Mcgivney, Outside Online, "300 Flights Through the Grand Canyon's Helicopter Alley," 24 May 2018 Inspired by the conifer tree, the 2,062-square-foot three-bed-three-bath boasts a dynamic geometric construction of multiple structures, cantilevers, walkways, and soaring interiors that opens onto views of the surrounding landscape. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Modern treehouse with stunning mountain views wants $775K," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gavin Rea via Designboom And the M3 is a 720-square-foot design with the top module cantilevering over the base, creating a covered carport. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Prefab home concept appears to float above the landscape," 15 Oct. 2018 Set against an arid moonscape on the equatorial line, two cantilevered glass wings soar dramatically above a reflecting pool, symbolizing freedom and transparency and looking like something out of a science-fiction movie. Joshua Goodman, The Seattle Times, "South America bloc’s woes leave architectural gem forlorn," 8 Jan. 2019 Indoors the show-stopping architectural feature is the curved, steel, cantilevered central staircase that snakes upward from the double-height entryway. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "Building a Home Over the Office to Achieve Work-Life Balance," 20 Nov. 2018 The Reflection, Celebrity’s largest ship, even offers a suite with a glass shower cantilevered out over the sea (don't worry about peeping Toms; the glass digitally fogs for privacy). Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruise Lines in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 At the same time, the stadium removed about 5,200 seats in the lower bowl to make way for a temporary riser system, constructed and cantilevered over the existing lower bowl seats and the sidelines. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Transforming a Football Stadium Into a Final Four Court," 29 Mar. 2017 The house is raised on a pedestal with redwood beams that cantilever out from below on all four sides and on top to hold up the roof, giving it a floating illusion. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "Revitalizing a Michigan Midcentury Marvel," 15 Nov. 2018 Capital Hill boasts Hadid’s signature elements—swopping curves, cantilevering roof overhangs, and glass expanses, to name a few—but the home as a whole is a unique experience. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Zaha Hadid’s only private residence is finally complete," 13 Apr. 2018 Orange and yellow color blocks accent the paneled and glazed facade, lending it a vintage vibe, while cantilevering volumes add lightness. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Groovy midcentury home with original retro details wants $600K," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cantilever.' 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 cantilever

Noun

1667, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1902, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for cantilever

Noun

perhaps from cant entry 3 + -i- + lever

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Time Traveler for cantilever

The first known use of cantilever was in 1667

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More Definitions for cantilever

cantilever

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cantilever

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long piece of wood, metal, etc., that sticks out from a wall or other structure to support something above it (such as a balcony or bridge)

cantilever

verb

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

: to support (something) with a cantilever
of a structure : to extend out over an area

cantilever

noun
can·​ti·​le·​ver | \ ˈkan-tə-ˌlē-vər How to pronounce cantilever (audio) , -ˌle-\

Kids Definition of cantilever

1 : a beam or similar support fastened (as by being built into a wall) only at one end The balcony is supported by wooden cantilevers.
2 : either of two structures that stick out from piers toward each other and when joined form a span in a bridge ( cantilever bridge )

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More from Merriam-Webster on cantilever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cantilever

Spanish Central: Translation of cantilever

Nglish: Translation of cantilever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cantilever

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