Definition of baluster in US English:



  • 1A short pillar or column, typically decorative in design, in a series supporting a rail or coping.

    • ‘Keeping the Orpheum's original architectural style intact was crucial to the Sioux City community, and entire sections of railing, balusters, and terrazzo steps needed to be painstakingly recreated.’
    • ‘Three balusters per tread with double-tread attachment produce a strong stable railing; matching balcony railing kits are also available.’
    • ‘You can also use a combination of materials, such as an oak handrail and oak treads combined with painted hemlock balusters.’
    • ‘The roof of Cornish slate was similarly recreated using old slate found in the garden foe matching purposes; the balustrade and balusters were also beautifully reconstructed.’
    • ‘A sprayer can be used, but some deck experts prefer to use a long-handled painting pad on decking, and painting ‘mitts’ or a brush on railings and balusters.’
    • ‘The turned rear posts have similar sequences of balls, balusters, and columns.’
    • ‘This circularity is echoed and enhanced by the razor-sharp curvilinear forms of apsidal niches, rounded arches, semicircular columns, Ionic volutes, decorative ovals, and turned balusters and kraters.’
    • ‘Oak hardwood floors, watercolors and oils, antiques, carved balusters and its balustrade, plush carpets… all melded together in artistic grace and simple complexity.’
    • ‘It features a stairway with turned timber balusters.’
    • ‘Maple handrails cap lacy steel balusters painted with Hammerite, a brand of finish that crinkles as it dries, resulting in a hammered-iron look.’
    • ‘Simple incised arches adorn the squared terminals of the balusters that support the top shelf.’
    • ‘The vertical posts are called rails or balusters if it is a balcony.’
    • ‘Mold-making polyurethane is an economical substitute for silicone or latex to cast decorative concrete tabletops, balusters, or replicas of natural rocks and boulders.’
    • ‘From the entrance hall on the ground floor, a sweeping staircase, with wrought iron balusters and a highly polished wooden handrail, rises to the upper floor, which is lit by a large cupola.’
    • ‘The old railing was replaced by classic turned-wood balusters.’
    • ‘The table tombs are particularly elegant-flat ledger stones supported on vase-shaped marble balusters.’
    • ‘The heavy balusters had given way to light balusters and balustroids by the 1730s and 1740s.’
    • ‘I bashed and pulled the broomstick railings out, revealing the sawed off bottoms of the old balusters and a thick layer of paint and something undefinable (distemper, maybe) in between them.’
    • ‘Here, too were the louvres, the broad-based wooden benches, the curvilinear balusters supporting rails around polished wooden platforms.’
    • ‘Teak handrails are supported on sheets of toughened glass as balusters.’
    pole, stake, upright, shaft, prop, support, picket, strut, pillar, pale, paling, column, piling, standard, stanchion, pylon, stave, rod, newel, jamb, bollard, mast
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    1. 1.1as modifier (of a furniture leg or other decorative item) having the form of a baluster.
      ‘baluster legs in English oak’
      • ‘The early examples were generally heavily knopped, the main element of the stem often of baluster outline but with other swellings above, or below, or both.’
      • ‘The highlight of a number of pieces of rare 18th century English porcelain is Worcester's nod to the orient, a porcelain teapot in vertically fluted baluster form circa 1750-58.’
      • ‘Characteristic is the large circular base supported on four claw-and-ball feet, the large baluster stem, and the relatively small candleholder.’
      • ‘He shows an earlier type of candlestick of baluster form spreading downwards into a deep drip tray with a squat cinched base.’
      • ‘The front legs on virtually all of these chairs have small baluster turnings atop heavy tapered legs that terminate in pad feet on little disks.’
      • ‘Silesian and baluster stems do not occur very often.’
      • ‘Small baluster castes were often converted to more useful pitcher cream jugs by the addition of handles and spouts.’
      • ‘She argues that under Shah Jahan, Mughal influence was extended to architecture as well and to this influence she relates the use of the baluster column in Mughal architecture.’
      • ‘The stand, with its baluster legs and serpentine stretcher, is also japanned and similar to other European designs of this period.’
      • ‘Why Rhode Island furniture makers chose to compress the baluster shape to a round shape is still unclear.’


Early 17th century: from French balustre, from Italian balaustro, from balaust(r)a ‘wild pomegranate flower’ (via Latin from Greek balaustion), so named because part of the pillar resembles the curving calyx tube of the flower.