flying buttress love

flying buttress


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

  • n. An arched masonry support serving to bear thrust, as from a roof or vault, away from a main structure to an outer pier or buttress. Also called arc-boutant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a buttress that stands apart from the structure that it supports, and is connected to it by an arch (flyer).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a contrivance for taking up the thrust of a roof or vault which can not be supported by ordinary buttresses. It consists of a straight bar of masonry, usually sloping, carried on an arch, and a solid pier or buttress sufficient to receive the thrust. The word is generally applied only to the straight bar with supporting arch.
  • n. See Flying buttress.

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

  • n. a buttress that stands apart from the main structure and connected to it by an arch


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Sorry, no example sentences found.

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In architecture, a flying buttress, or arc-boutant, is usually on a religious building, used to transmit the thrust of a vault across an intervening space (which might be an aisle, chapel or cloister), to a buttress outside the building. The employment of the flying buttress means that the load bearing walls can contain cut-outs, such as for large windows, that would otherwise seriously weaken the vault walls.

    The purpose of a buttress was to reduce the load on the vault wall. The majority of the load is carried by the upper part of the buttress, so making the buttress as a semi-arch provides almost the same load bearing capability, yet in a much lighter as well as a much cheaper structure. As a result, the buttress flies through the air, rather than resting on the ground and hence is known as a flying buttress.


    February 6, 2008