Definitions

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

  • noun A rail and the row of balusters or posts that support it, as along the front of a gallery.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In architecture, strictly, a barrier or railing consisting of a horizontal member resting on a series of balusters; but, commonly, an ornamental railing or pierced parapet of any kind, whether serving as a barrier or merely as a decorative feature, and whether composed of balusters or not.

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

  • noun (Arch.) A row of balusters topped by a rail, serving as an open parapet, as along the edge of a balcony, terrace, bridge, or the eaves of a building, or as a guard railing on a staircase; -- it serves as a guard to prevent people from falling.

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

  • noun architecture A row of balusters topped by a rail, serving as an open parapet, as along the edge of a balcony, terrace, bridge, staircase, or the eaves of a building.

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

  • noun a railing at the side of a staircase or balcony to prevent people from falling

Etymologies

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

[French, from Italian balaustrata, from balaustro, baluster; see baluster.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French balustrade, from Italian balaustrata ("with balusters"), from balaustro ("baluster"), from balausta ("wild pomegranate flower"), via Latin balaustium, from Ancient Greek βαλαύστιον (balaustion), from Semitic (compare Aramaic balatz 'wild pomegranate flower'). So named because of resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open pomegranate flower. Also see baluster.

Examples

Comments

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  • And I am nothing of a builder

    But here I dreamt I was an architect

    And I built this balustrade

    To keep you home, to keep you safe

    From the outside world

    December 2, 2006

  • MISS GIDDENS

    That can't be true? Not ten minutes ago I saw - I thought I saw - a man.

    (She moves towards the tower's balustrade)

    He was standing exactly here.

    MILES

    (rising and joining her at the balustrade)

    Perhaps it was me.

    May 19, 2008

  • Ornamental parapet of posts and railings.

    August 24, 2008