Definitions

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

  • n. The point or support on which a lever pivots.
  • n. Zoology An anatomical structure that acts as a hinge or a point of support.
  • n. An agent through which vital powers are exercised.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The support about which a lever pivots.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A prop or support.
  • n. That by which a lever is sustained, or about which it turns in lifting or moving a body.
  • n. An accessory organ such as a tendril, stipule, spine, and the like.
  • n.
  • n. The horny inferior surface of the lingua of certain insects.
  • n. One of the small, spiniform scales found on the front edge of the dorsal and caudal fins of many ganoid fishes.
  • n. The connective tissue supporting the framework of the retina of the eye.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with a fulcrum; establish as a fulcrum.
  • n. A prop or support.
  • n. In mech., the point of rest about which a lever turns in lifting a body; also, a prop or support for a lever at this point. See lever.
  • n. In botany, an accessory organ, such as a bract, stipule, spine, etc., or one of the aërial roots of climbing plants, as of ivy.
  • n. In mycology, one of the radiating appendages of the perithecia of Erysipheæ.
  • n. In entomology, the inferior horny surface of the ligula, found in many Hymenoptera, etc. Also called the os hyoideum.
  • n. In ichthyology, a special scale or spine on the fore edge of the anterior fin-rays of the dorsal or caudal fins of certain ganoid fishes, as Lepidosteus, Acipenser, and many fossil genera.
  • n. In rotifers, the short stem of the incus, one of the parts of the mastax or pharyngeal mill.
  • n. In the trilobites, the bend or the point of abrupt curvature of the thoracic pleura, which divides them into proximal and distal portions.

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

  • n. the pivot about which a lever turns

Etymologies

Latin, bedpost, from fulcīre, to support.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fulcrum ("bedpost, foot of a couch"), from fulciō ("prop up, support"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The fulcrum is the theological and philosophical inclinations a person brings to science and evolution.

    2005 September - Telic Thoughts

  • What Goodman calls the "fulcrum" of the museum is the courtroom where in 1950 Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver and his committee held hearings into organized crime.

    Ellen Sterling: Las Vegas' New Mob Museum Tells An All-American Story

  • Where Mr. Farrell and Mr. Kersten part company as biographers is in their handling of a particular episode that forms what the latter calls the "fulcrum" of Darrow's career.

    A Man in Search of a Lost Cause

  • -- The simple lever with a pawl on each side of the fulcrum is the most effective means to make a continuous feed by the simple movement of a lever.

    Practical Mechanics for Boys

  • In bending the forearm on the arm, familiarly known as "trying your muscle," the power is supplied by the biceps muscle attached to the radius, the fulcrum is the elbow joint at one end of the lever, and the resistance is the weight of the forearm at the other end.

    A Practical Physiology

  • In any form of lever there are only three things to be considered: the point where the weight rests, the point where the force acts, and the point called the fulcrum about which the rod rotates.

    General Science

  • [33] The fulcrum, which is generally treated as being absolutely immovable, being the general belief in the theory of democracy.

    Anticipations Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon Human life and Thought

  • What does the poll identify as the fulcrum of Lincoln's precipitously declining numbers?

    The Corner on National Review Online

  • Lax regulation may have been the lever that pushed the world into the present financial crisis, but the fulcrum was the twin excesses of over-financialization and over-globalization, according to UC Berkeley economist Ashok Bardhan.

    YaleGlobal Online

  • If one exchange could be described as the fulcrum of our work, this is it.

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