Definition of fulcrum
fulcraplay \ˈfu̇l-krə, ˈfəl-\
1a : prop; specifically : the support about which a lever turns the camera moves on a fixed fulcrum, either horizontally (panning) or vertically (tilting) — Gerald Mastb : one that supplies capability for action he is … the reader's eyes and ears and the fulcrum of his judgment — Bernard De Voto
2 : a part of an animal that serves as a hinge or support
fulcrum was our Word of the Day on 04/23/2007. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
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.
Origin and Etymology of fulcrum
Late Latin, from Latin, bedpost, from fulcire to prop — more at balk
First Known Use: 1668
FULCRUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of fulcrum for English Language Learners
: the support on which a lever moves when it is used to lift something
FULCRUM Defined for Kids
Definition of fulcrum for Students
: the support on which a lever turns in lifting something
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