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


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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 Owners’ bath Fluted pilasters with gold capitals frame the tub under foot-thick crown molding. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 11 Apr. 2020 The blueprints showed that these rooftop decorations, known as antefixes, were in fact baseballs, ornaments that echoed the baseball-adorned terra-cotta spandrels above the pilasters. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, 27 Mar. 2020 The two surviving levels of iron were an elaborate assemblage of around 1,000 individual castings representing some 30 distinct architectural elements — everything from 2,500-pound pilaster sections to individual flowers on column capitals. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2019 Characteristics of its Georgian Colonial style include its long, rectangular shape with an orderly symmetrical façade, and the paneled door with pediment, transom lights, and pilasters — all reflecting an interest in classicism. Nico Amarca, Marie Claire, 21 Oct. 2019 The entire home has chateau quality finishes — mass walls, pilasters and lots of cherry. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, 18 Oct. 2019 The structure is notable for its exterior Corinthian columns and pilasters. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, 6 Feb. 2018 The structure is notable for its exterior Corinthian columns and pilasters. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, 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, 4 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for pilaster

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The first known use of pilaster was in 1573

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Cite this Entry

“Pilaster.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilaster. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pilaster


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