voussoir

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English[edit]

Voussoirs forming a stable arch; there are special terms for the voussoirs at the base of the arch and for the (usually single) voussoir at the top centre

Etymology[edit]

[1728] Borrowed from French voussoir, from Old French vosoir, from Vulgar Latin *volsorium, from *volsus, from Latin volvō (I roll).

Noun[edit]

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voussoir (plural voussoirs)

  1. (architecture) One of a series of wedge-shaped bricks or stones forming an arch or vault.
    • 1977, Jaques Heyman, Equilibrium of Shell Structures, Clarendon Press, Oxford, page 2:
      It is the voussoir depth in a real arch which enables the arch to carry wider ranges of loading; a large number of different idealized centre-line arches can be contained within a given practical profile. ...[T]his must be so, or no mediaeval bridge would have survived its decentering.

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