buttress

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English[edit]

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Buttress tree roots (Kapok tree)

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

buttress (plural buttresses)

  1. (architecture) A brick or stone structure built against another structure to support it.
  2. Anything that serves to support something; a prop.
  3. (botany) A buttress-root.
  4. (climbing) A feature jutting prominently out from a mountain or rock; a crag, a bluff.
    Crowell Buttresses, Dismal Buttress, Hourglass Buttress, Kardam Buttress, Seven Buttresses
    Milestone Buttress on Tryfan. The direct route is highlighted.
    • 2005, Will Cook, Until Darkness Disappears, page 54:
      All that day they rode into broken land. The prairie with its grass and rolling hills was behind them, and they entered a sparse, dry, rocky country, full of draws and short cañons and ominous buttresses.
    • 2010, Tony Howard, Treks and Climbs in Wadi Rum, Jordan, ISBN-13: 9781852842543, page 84:
      Two short pitches up a chimney-crack are followed by a traverse right to the centre of the buttress.
  5. (figuratively) Anything that supports or strengthens.
    • South
      the ground pillar and buttress of the good old cause of nonconformity

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Verb[edit]

buttress (third-person singular simple present buttresses, present participle buttressing, simple past and past participle buttressed)

  1. To support something physically with, or as if with, a prop or buttress.
  2. To support something or someone by supplying evidence; to corroborate or substantiate.

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