from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One of the upright, usually rounded or vase-shaped supports of a balustrade.
- n. An upright support, such as a furniture leg, having a similar shape.
- n. One of the supporting posts of a handrail.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A short column used in a group to support a rail, as commonly found on the side of a stairway; a banister.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A small column or pilaster, used as a support to the rail of an open parapet, to guard the side of a staircase, or the front of a gallery. See balustrade.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In architecture and building, a small upright member made in a great variety of forms, but typically strongly swelled outward at some point between the base and the top or capital, and commonly vase- or urn-shaped, used in series to support the rail of a railing or balustrade.
- n. In architecture, the lateral part of the volute of the Ionic capital. Also bolster.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. one of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing
French balustre, from Italian balaustro, from balaustra, pomegranate flower (from a resemblance to the post), from Latin balaustium, from Greek balaustion.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French balustre, from Italian balaustro 'pillar', from balausta 'wild pomegranate flower', so named because of resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open flower, from Ancient Greek βαλαύστιον (balaustion), from Semitic (compare Aramaic balatz 'wild pomegranate flower'). (Wiktionary)