Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall for support or reinforcement.
  • n. Something resembling a buttress, as:
  • n. The flared base of certain tree trunks.
  • n. A horny growth on the heel of a horse's hoof.
  • n. Something that serves to support, prop, or reinforce: "The law is by its very nature a buttress of the status quo” ( J. William Fulbright).
  • transitive v. To support or reinforce with a buttress.
  • transitive v. To sustain, prop, or bolster: "The author buttresses her analysis with lengthy dissections of several of Moore's poems” ( Warren Woessner).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A brick or stone structure built against another structure to support it.
  • n. Anything that serves to support something; a prop.
  • n. A buttress-root.
  • n. A feature jutting prominently out from a mountain or rock; a crag, a bluff.
  • v. To support something physically with, or as if with, a prop or buttress.
  • v. To support something or someone by supplying evidence; to corroborate or substantiate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A projecting mass of masonry, used for resisting the thrust of an arch, or for ornament and symmetry.
  • n. Anything which supports or strengthens.
  • transitive v. To support with a buttress; to prop; to brace firmly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To support by a buttress; hence, to prop or prop up, literally or figuratively.
  • n. A structure built against a wall, for the purpose of giving it stability.
  • n. Figuratively, any prop or support.
  • n. In farriery, an instrument of steel set in wood, for paring the hoof of a horse.
  • n. A wall or abutment built along a stream to prevent the logs in a drive from cutting the bank or jamming.
  • n. The angle formed on the plantar surface of the hoof by the junction of the wall with the bar.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make stronger or defensible
  • n. a support usually of stone or brick; supports the wall of a building
  • v. reinforce with a buttress

Etymologies

Middle English buteras, from Old French bouterez, from bouter, to strike against, of Germanic origin; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French bouterés, nominative singular of bouteret, from Frankish *botan, from Proto-Germanic *bautanan (“to push”). Ultimately cognate with beat. (Wiktionary)

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