pi·​las·​ter | \ pi-ˈla-stər How to pronounce pilaster (audio) , ˈpī-ˌla- How to pronounce pilaster (audio) \

Definition of pilaster

: an upright architectural member that is rectangular in plan and is structurally a pier but architecturally treated as a column and that usually projects a third of its width or less from the wall

Illustration of pilaster

Illustration of pilaster

1 pilaster

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Synonyms for pilaster


column, pier, pillar, post, stanchion

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Examples of pilaster in a Sentence

the rectangular pilasters spaced along the building's facade lend an air of classical grandeur

Recent Examples on the Web

The structure is notable for its exterior Corinthian columns and pilasters. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Gilbert snags downtown Detroit Comerica bank branch for $5M," 6 Feb. 2018 The structure is notable for its exterior Corinthian columns and pilasters. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Gilbert snags downtown Detroit Comerica bank branch for $5M," 6 Feb. 2018 Africa’s future is the new station a short drive away, a yellow-and-white edifice with grand pilasters, arched windows and a broad flagstone square. Jonathan Kaiman, latimes.com, "Along China’s new Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, a fast path through Africa for the world's newest superpower," 4 Aug. 2017 One of the majestic houses along the Hudson River, this 1896 Beaux Arts structure (fire destroyed the 1795 original) has a giant portico and tall pilasters and drips with Louis XIV furnishings. Bryan Miller, Town & Country, "The Hudson Valley: A River Runs Through It," 8 Sep. 2013 The facade has brick and red sandstone from Lake Superior, with a carved terra-cotta lintel and fluted iron pilasters. Michael Pollak, New York Times, "A Highway’s Starting Line, and a Flemish Firehouse," 8 July 2016 White pilasters rising at intervals set up a pleasing counterpoint to the walnut tracery of the bookshelves holding Neri’s collection. David Laskin, New York Times, "The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries," 13 June 2017

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

1573, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pilaster

Middle French pilastre, from Italian pilastro

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Statistics for pilaster

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for pilaster

The first known use of pilaster was in 1573

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English Language Learners Definition of pilaster

: a rectangular column that is attached to a wall and that is used for decoration or support


pi·​las·​ter | \ pi-ˈlas-tər How to pronounce pilaster (audio) \

Medical Definition of pilaster

: an elongated hardened ridge especially : a longitudinal bony ridge on the back of the femur

More from Merriam-Webster on pilaster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pilaster

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pilaster

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