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

At the shoreline a large deck cantilevers over the water. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Large West Bloomfield lake home has everything, including your own boat," 24 Aug. 2019 Arianespace has also finished adaptations to the existing Vega launch complex in French Guiana, including mobile gantry cantilever reinforcements, platform shutters, and a new overhead traveling crane that will enable Vega-C missions. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: A Yellow Sea launch, SpaceX’s upcoming high-value mission," 7 June 2019 In Florida, Sebastian and Tan noticed that their measurement probe had an extra slot with a diving-board-style cantilever on it, which could be used to measure quantum oscillations in the magnetization of their crystals. Quanta Magazine, "Paradoxical Crystal Baffles Physicists," 2 July 2015 Stripped of the everyday clutter of people and furniture, architecture is reduced to its essence — columns, beams, cantilevers, arches. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Is Northwestern’s new medical research building a world-class structure? The building, and the answer, are incomplete.," 13 June 2019 Saarinen’s concrete structure, with its soaring, winglike vaulted roof, its huge fields of glass, and its thrilling interior curves, cantilevers and airy mezzanines, is one of the great buildings of the past century. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "The TWA Hotel revives a magnificent, mid-century vision of the friendly skies," 12 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The sculpture is a large striped bass (rockfish) made of highly reflective stainless steel that will be cantilevered over a portion of the signature sidewalk in Concord Point Park. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Havre de Grace to host first Waterfront Festival with public art unveiling, fireworks," 22 Aug. 2019 The controversy, which should never have occurred, should have been over, but the Democrats have managed to cantilever themselves two more steps out on the limb that protrudes over the political abyss. Conrad Black, National Review, "Trump: A Brief History Thereof," 1 Aug. 2019 His flat-roofed midcentury modern, acquired in 2012 for $10 million, is treacherously cantilevered over a craggy, near-sheer bluff and graced with spectacular views of the bay. Variety, The Mercury News, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey scoops up $22 million San Francisco house next door," 5 June 2019 On a grander scale, cantilevered viewing platforms that overhang yawning chasms such as the Grand Canyon Skywalk and the Glacier Skywalk at Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada, are truly spectacular and awe-inspiring. Quanta Magazine, "How to Hang Far Out Over the Edge," 17 Nov. 2016 There, after a 50-second elevator, visitors can experience the MahaNakhon Glass Tray, a transparent observation deck that cantilevers more than 1,000 feet in the air, undoubtedly serving up the best views of downtown Bangkok. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "‘Glass tray’ observation deck now open in Thailand’s tallest building," 11 Dec. 2018 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

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 4 + -i- + lever

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Statistics for cantilever

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

Comments on cantilever

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