American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A slight convexity or swelling, as in the shaft of a column, intended to compensate for the illusion of concavity resulting from straight sides.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In architecture, the swelling or outward curve of tho profile of tho shaft of a column. The entasis exists in perfection in the finest examples of Greek Doric, in which the swelling is greatest a little below the middle point of the shaft, but never so great as to interfere with the steady diminution of the shaft from the base upward. The entasis is designed both to counteract the optical illusion which would cause the profiles of the shafts to appear curved inward if they were bounded by straight lines, and to give the effect of life and elasticity to the column in its function of supporting superimposed weight.
- n. In pathology, constrictive or tonic spasm, as cramp, lockjaw, etc. See tetanus. Also entasia.
- n. architecture A slight convex curvature introduced into the shaft of a column for aesthetic reasons, or to compensate for the illusion of concavity.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Arch.) A slight convex swelling of the shaft of a column.
- n. (Med.) Same as Entasia.
- n. a slight convexity in the shaft of a column; compensates for the illusion of concavity that viewers experience when the sides are perfectly straight
- Latin, from Ancient Greek έντασις (entasis, "tension, straining"), from εντείνω (enteino, "to stretch or strain tight"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin, from Greek, tension, from enteinein, to stretch tight : en-, intensive pref.; see en-2 + teinein, to stretch. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The ancient Greeks used a technique known as entasis which incorporates a slight convexity in the columns of the Parthenon to compensate for the illusion of concavity created by parallel lines.”
“Beard is rather dismissive of their optical sophistication, shown in the curvature of the stylobate and in the entasis of the columns — the slight outward swelling of a column designed to counter the optical illusion of concavity, were the columns 'sides to be perfectly straight.”
“And they are an illustration of what was a marked characteristic of all classic architecture, which shows a slight curvature or entasis in its long lines.”
“This peculiarity is a convexity, or _entasis_, as it is called, on the inner faces.”
“The exaggeration in the entasis of the archaic column disappears, its tapering was diminished, its height increased, and the overhang of the capitals reduced, till in the Theseion (465 B. C.) and the Parthenon (450-438 B. C.) we reach the final inimitable type.”
The Legacy of Greece Essays By: Gilbert Murray, W. R. Inge, J. Burnet, Sir T. L. Heath, D'arcy W. Thompson, Charles Singer, R. W. Livingston, A. Toynbee, A. E. Zimmern, Percy Gardner, Sir Reginald Blomfield
“The entasis from the temple of Mars Ultor in Rome compared with”
“The entasis as given by Fra Giocondo in the edition of 1511. 2.”
“With regard to the enlargement made at the middle of columns, which among the Greeks is called [Greek: entasis], at the end of the book a figure and calculation will be subjoined, showing how an agreeable and appropriate effect may be produced by it.”
“These provide the slight entasis to the outline which is found in so many spires, as it is in classic columns, and is designed to correct the appearance of hollowness which would occur in so long a straight line.”
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