Definitions

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

  • noun A structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall for support or reinforcement.
  • noun Something resembling a buttress, as.
  • noun The flared base of certain tree trunks.
  • noun A horny growth on the heel of a horse's hoof.
  • noun Something that serves to support, prop, or reinforce.
  • transitive verb To support or reinforce with a buttress.
  • transitive verb To sustain, prop, or bolster.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To support by a buttress; hence, to prop or prop up, literally or figuratively.
  • noun A wall or abutment built along a stream to prevent the logs in a drive from cutting the bank or jamming.
  • noun The angle formed on the plantar surface of the hoof by the junction of the wall with the bar.
  • noun A structure built against a wall, for the purpose of giving it stability.
  • noun Figuratively, any prop or support.
  • noun In farriery, an instrument of steel set in wood, for paring the hoof of a horse.

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

  • transitive verb To support with a buttress; to prop; to brace firmly.
  • noun (Arch.) A projecting mass of masonry, used for resisting the thrust of an arch, or for ornament and symmetry.
  • noun Anything which supports or strengthens.
  • noun See Flying buttress.

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

  • noun architecture A brick or stone structure built against another structure to support it.
  • noun Anything that serves to support something; a prop.
  • noun botany A buttress-root.
  • noun climbing A feature jutting prominently out from a mountain or rock; a crag, a bluff.
  • verb To support something physically with, or as if with, a prop or buttress.
  • verb To support something or someone by supplying evidence; to corroborate or substantiate.

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

  • verb make stronger or defensible
  • noun a support usually of stone or brick; supports the wall of a building
  • verb reinforce with a buttress

Etymologies

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

[Middle English buteras, from Old French bouterez, from bouter, to strike against, of Germanic origin; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French bouterés, nominative singular of bouteret, from Frankish *botan, from Proto-Germanic *bautanan (“to push”). Ultimately cognate with beat.

Examples

  • Salvini, a noted Italian democrat, was right on the mark when he observed: "The widespread ignorance of events is the main buttress of injustice".

    Dario Fo - Nobel Lecture

  • And when this policy seemed in danger of leading to regression as a result of electoral defeat, the commit ment to electoral (hence revisionist) activism was characterized as a buttress to the established theory of societal breakdown rather than as a major concession to revisionist ideology.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • To the right of the buttress is a long two-cusped lancet light; to the left may be traced, perhaps, the outline of an original round-arched window; while on both sides there are sloping lines in the masonry, as if there had been an acutely-pointed gable here.

    Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ripon A Short History of the Church and a Description of Its Fabric

  • Close to this window, and rising up just above the sill of the clerestory windows, is a narrow, flat buttress, which is probably of the same date as the window.

    Bell's Cathedrals: Chichester (1901) A Short History & Description Of Its Fabric With An Account Of The Diocese And See

  • The end of the buttress was a foot or two below the level of the leads, where Clara stood.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

  • ChangeWave's survey results on dropped calls buttress the complaints made by iPhone users since Apple introduced the smartphone: AT&T's network performance is sub-standard.

    PCWorld

  • Dr. LACEY: And in some cases, people even change what they eat, because many times, what you'll see in a person who's sleep deprived is they will tend to snack more on high-carb types of foods and snacks in order to kind of buttress their general energy level in an attempt to kind of self-stimulate and keep themselves more awake.

    Does Sleep (Or Lack Of It) Affect Weight Loss?

  • Dr. LACEY: And in some cases, people even change what they eat, because many times, what you'll see in a person who's sleep deprived is they will tend to snack more on high-carb types of foods and snacks in order to kind of buttress their general energy level in an attempt to kind of self-stimulate and keep themselves more awake.

    Does Sleep (Or Lack Of It) Affect Weight Loss?

  • Dr. LACEY: And in some cases, people even change what they eat, because many times, what you'll see in a person who's sleep deprived is they will tend to snack more on high-carb types of foods and snacks in order to kind of buttress their general energy level in an attempt to kind of self-stimulate and keep themselves more awake.

    Does Sleep (Or Lack Of It) Affect Weight Loss?

  • Dr. LACEY: And in some cases, people even change what they eat, because many times, what you'll see in a person who's sleep deprived is they will tend to snack more on high-carb types of foods and snacks in order to kind of buttress their general energy level in an attempt to kind of self-stimulate and keep themselves more awake.

    Does Sleep (Or Lack Of It) Affect Weight Loss?

Comments

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  • Thanks, Weirdnet.

    August 24, 2008

  • Female butter.

    February 9, 2009

  • Right. So I guess that mattress means female matter, address is a female adder, suppress a female supper, and that repress and redress are female reapers and readers, respectively.

    February 9, 2009