One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large watertight chamber, open at the bottom, from which the water is kept out by air pressure and in which construction work may be carried out under water.
- ‘The 25-m - long x 10-m-wide caissons travelled on pontoons before being sunk into place.’
- ‘The housing consists of prefabricated concrete caissons which are inset in the lagoon floor and contain service tunnels and machinery.’
- ‘The buttresses rise from caisson caps, each covering six concrete caissons.’
- ‘Some 30 million ft of lumber and 1 million steel reinforcing rods supported the original Wacker Drive, with about 600 caissons excavated to an average of 95 ft.’
- ‘Rebar cages for the caissons were assembled remotely, moved on-site, and lowered into the hole at night; the hole was filled with concrete, leaving a cold joint at the top of the apron.’
- ‘These were noticed first among men in new industrial applications: tunnelling below water and working in caissons.’
- ‘It's a combined highway and transit construction project and requires drilling foundation caissons in areas with underground utilities.’
- ‘The seal course at the bottom of the caissons is 8 m thick and required about 6,000 m³ of underwater concrete.’
- ‘The caisson has been constructed inside a ‘cofferdam’ - a box-like structure built of pilings and a concrete floor.’
- ‘Concrete grade beams spanning between the caissons were used to accommodate external envelope conditions and elevator pits.’
- ‘The caissons were huge hollow reinforced concrete blocks that were floated across the channel and then sunk when in position.’
- 1.1 A floating vessel or watertight structure used as a gate across the entrance of a dry dock or basin.
- ‘These floats transported the great floating concrete caissons which formed the sea walls of the Mulberry Harbours.’
- ‘Constructed of various concrete caissons and pontoons, the Mulberrys were the innovation that made the Normandy campaign following the D-Day landings possible.’
- ‘The port consisted of a series of caissons forming the outside wall, with various pontoons and jetties inside, mainly following the design of a bailey bridge (big meccano).’
- ‘A massive 7,000-tonne concrete caisson has replaced the temporary steel coffer dam, and three cranes - one of ten tonnes, two of 25 tonnes - were transported across Five Basin to Nine Dock by floating crane.’
- ‘He sailed to the raid in HMS Campbeltown and landed by jumping over the ship's bow onto the caisson to conduct demolition work ashore.’
2historical A chest or wagon for holding or conveying ammunition.
- ‘We saw the bronze of a Civil War general on horseback, soldiers hanging onto an artillery caisson clattering to his side.’
- ‘It has also been speculated that the use of the color purple was adopted because of the use of purple heart wood from Brazil to make caissons for the artillery.’
- ‘Graves were everywhere; dead soldiers and horses lay unburied; and destroyed wagons and caissons littered the area.’
- ‘While most of the army's accomplished horsemen served in the Cavalry, the Field Artillery used horses to draw its caissons, and officers needed to learn to ride adroitly.’
- ‘It was impossible to resist the line of World War I toys - including doughboys with fixed bayonets and artillery attached to caissons that were pulled by teams of horses.’
Late 17th century: from French, literally ‘large chest’, from Italian cassone, the spelling having been altered in French by association with caisse ‘case’.
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