from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of abutting.
  • noun Something that abuts.
  • noun The point of contact of two abutting objects or parts.
  • noun The part of a structure that bears the weight or pressure of an arch.
  • noun A structure that supports the end of a bridge.
  • noun A structure that anchors the cables of a suspension bridge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or condition of abutting.
  • noun That which abuts or borders on something else; the part abutting or abutted upon or against.
  • noun Sometimes shortened to butment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun State of abutting.
  • noun That on or against which a body abuts or presses.
  • noun (Arch.) The solid part of a pier or wall, etc., which receives the thrust or lateral pressure of an arch, vault, or strut.
  • noun (Mech.) A fixed point or surface from which resistance or reaction is obtained, as the cylinder head of a steam engine, the fulcrum of a lever, etc.
  • noun In breech-loading firearms, the block behind the barrel which receives the pressure due to recoil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The state of abutting.
  • noun architecture That element that shares a common boundary or surface with its neighbor.
  • noun dentistry The tooth that supports a denture or bridge.
  • noun A fixed point or surface where resistance is obtained.

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

  • noun point of contact between two objects or parts
  • noun a masonry support that touches and directly receives thrust or pressure of an arch or bridge


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • 1644 EVELYN Mem. (1857) I. 118 The four fountains of Lepidus, built at the abutments of four stately ways.

    June 4, 2008

  • "Solid masonry placed to counteract the lateral thrust of a bridge, arch, or vault." According to the glossary I ripped off from another site (URL in my list header).

    August 24, 2008