One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A type of bridge with a section which can be raised and lowered using counterweights.
- ‘Eight bascule bridges intersect with the upper roadway, as do two elevated transit lines - and 60,000 pedestrians on the Loop.’
- ‘This was the first use of a V-shaped pier on a bascule bridge, and it provided several advantages, including less restricted views of the water due to the openness of the pier, larger transverse openings, and improved span proportions.’
- ‘As the procession moved up river, Tower Bridge raised its bascules in tribute while gun salutes came from the Tower of London and HMS Belfast.’
- 1.1 A movable section of road forming part of a bascule bridge.
Late 19th century: earlier denoting a lever apparatus of which one end is raised while the other is lowered, from French (earlier bacule), ‘see-saw’, from battre ‘to bump’ + cul ‘buttocks’.
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