From Old French ars bouterez (noun, literally “supporting arcs”), from bouterez (adj), oblique plural of bouteret (rare in the singular), from Frankish *botan, from Proto-Germanic *bautaną (“to push”). Ultimately cognate with beat.
buttress (plural buttresses)
- (architecture) A brick or stone structure built against another structure to support it.
- Anything that serves to support something; a prop.
- (botany) A buttress-root.
- (climbing) A feature jutting prominently out from a mountain or rock; a crag, a bluff.
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, page 84:
- Two short pitches up a chimney-crack are followed by a traverse right to the centre of the buttress.
- (figuratively) Anything that supports or strengthens.
- the ground pillar and buttress of the good old cause of nonconformity
- To support something physically with, or as if with, a prop or buttress.
- To support something or someone by supplying evidence; to corroborate or substantiate.