buttressless, adj.buttresslike, adj.
/bu"tris/, n.
1. any external prop or support built to steady a structure by opposing its outward thrusts, esp. a projecting support built into or against the outside of a masonry wall.
2. any prop or support.
3. a thing shaped like a buttress, as a tree trunk with a widening base.
4. a bony or horny protuberance, esp. on a horse's hoof.
5. to support by a buttress; prop up.
6. to give encouragement or support to (a person, plan, etc.).
[1350-1400; ME butres OF (arc) boterez thrusting (arch) nom. sing. of boteret (acc.), equiv. to boter- abutment (perh. < Gmc; see BUTT3) + -et -ET]
Syn. 6. encourage, hearten, support, inspirit, brace, back up, reinforce, shore up.

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Exterior support, usually of masonry, projecting from the face of a wall and serving to strengthen it or resist outward thrust from an arch or roof.

Buttresses also have a decorative function. Though used since ancient times (Mesopotamian temples featured decorative buttresses, as did Roman and Byzantine structures), they are especially associated with Gothic architecture. See also flying buttress.

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      in architecture, exterior support, usually of masonry, projecting from the face of a wall and serving either to strengthen it or to resist the side thrust created by the load on an arch or a roof. In addition to their practical functions, buttresses can be decorative, both in their own right and from the designs carved or constructed into them.

      Although it has been used in all forms of construction since ancient times (Mesopotamian temples featured decorative buttresses, as did Roman and Byzantine structures), the buttress is especially associated with the Gothic era, when simpler, hidden masonry supports developed into what is known as the flying buttress. This semidetached, curved pier connects with an arch to a wall and extends (or “flies”) to the ground or a pier some distance away. This design increased the supporting power of the buttress and allowed for the creation in masonry of the high-ceilinged, heavy-walled churches typical of the Gothic style.

      Other types of buttresses include pier or tower buttresses, simple masonry piles attached to a wall at regular intervals; hanging buttresses, freestanding piers connected to a wall by corbels (corbel); and various types of corner buttresses—diagonal, angle, clasping, and setback—that support intersecting walls.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Buttress — But tress, n. [OE. butrasse, boterace, fr. F. bouter to push; cf. OF. bouteret (nom. sing. and acc. pl. bouterez) buttress. See {Butt} an end, and cf. {Butteris}.] 1. (Arch.) A projecting mass of masonry, used for resisting the thrust of an arch …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Buttress — • A pilaster, pier, or body of masonry projecting beyond the main face of the wall and intended to strengthen the wall at particular points Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Buttress     Buttress …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • buttress — [bu′tris] n. [ME boteras < OFr bouterez, pl. of bouteret, flying buttress < buter: see BUTT2] 1. a projecting structure, generally of brick or stone, built against a wall to support or reinforce it 2. anything like a buttress; support or… …   English World dictionary

  • Buttress — But tress, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Buttressed} (?); p. pr. & vb. n. {Buttressing}.] To support with a buttress; to prop; to brace firmly. [1913 Webster] To set it upright again, and to prop and buttress it up for duration. Burke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Buttress — This article is about an architectural structure. For the large tree root, see Buttress root. For slang, see buttocks. A buttress is an architectural structure built against (a counterfort) or projecting from a wall which serves to support or… …   Wikipedia

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