Definition of fulcrum
- the camera moves on a fixed fulcrum, either horizontally (panning) or vertically (tilting)
- —Gerald Mast
- he is … the reader's eyes and ears and the fulcrum of his judgment
- —Bernard De Voto
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Fulcrum, a word that means "bedpost" in Latin, derives from the verb "fulcire," which means "to prop." When the word first appeared in English in the middle of the 17th century, "fulcrum" referred to the point on which a lever or similar device (such as the oar of a boat) is supported. It did not take long for the word to develop a figurative sense, referring to something used as a spur or justification to support a certain action. In zoology, "fulcrum" can also refer to a part of an animal that serves as a hinge or support, such as the joint supporting a bird's wing.
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