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support, weakness, instability, fragility


Building Components and Structures, Dominance and Dissent, Architectural Features and Spaces



How to pronounce buttress (audio)


Dictionary definition of buttress

An architectural feature that is used to support and reinforce a building or structure.
"The crumbling castle desperately needed repairs to its deteriorating buttress."

Detailed meaning of buttress

It is a projecting structure that is built onto the exterior of a building and typically extends from the ground to the top of the building. Buttresses are often used in Gothic architecture, where they are used to support the walls and arches of churches and cathedrals. They can also be found on other types of buildings, such as castles and fortresses. Buttresses can be simple or ornate, and they can be made of a variety of materials, including stone, brick, and concrete. They can also be used to support bridges and other structures. They are used to transfer the weight of the structure to the ground and provide stability to the building.

Example sentences containing buttress

1. The buttress was a crucial architectural element in supporting the towering cathedral walls.
2. The Gothic cathedral's most striking feature was its flying buttress.
3. The ancient fortress was fortified with a sturdy stone buttress.
4. The church's architect meticulously designed the buttress for both form and function.
5. The cathedral's buttress displayed intricate carvings and sculptures.
6. The builder placed the buttress strategically to bear the weight of the massive dome.

History and etymology of buttress

The noun 'buttress' has its origins in Old French, where it was 'butrez,' derived from 'buter,' meaning 'to thrust.' It entered Middle English as 'butres' before settling into its current form. In architecture, a buttress is an essential feature used to support and reinforce a building or structure. Its etymology underscores the notion of thrusting or pushing against something, and in this context, it describes how a buttress counteracts the forces that may threaten a structure's stability. By transferring weight and pressure to the ground, buttresses play a crucial role in maintaining the structural integrity of buildings, making them a vital component of architectural design throughout history.

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Further usage examples of buttress

1. The palace entrance was framed by a majestic, ornate buttress.
2. The flying buttress of the church added a sense of grandeur to the structure.
3. The buttress in the garden provided support for the climbing roses.
4. A massive wooden beam served as a makeshift buttress for the old barn.
5. The architect relied on the buttress to prevent the walls from collapsing.
6. The crumbling walls of the ancient temple were shored up with a new buttress.
7. The buttress had weathered centuries of storms and earthquakes.
8. The cathedral's ornamental buttress was a masterpiece of stone carving.
9. The restoration project focused on preserving the historic buttress.
10. The castle's main entrance featured an imposing, stone buttress.
11. The engineer inspected the buttress for signs of structural weakness.
12. The buttress provided crucial support for the towering minaret.
13. The buttress was adorned with intricate engravings and reliefs.
14. The cathedral's buttress was a testament to medieval craftsmanship.
15. The buttress added a touch of elegance to the simple church design.
16. The architect praised the buttress as an architectural marvel.

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