Definition of buttress in English:

buttress

noun

  • 1A projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.

    • ‘You will notice the buttresses, the porch, the crenellations on the walls, and the four light mullioned windows.’
    • ‘The path goes up by the left side of the main buttress in front of you.’
    • ‘There are vertical walls with jagged buttresses, sweeping canyons, arches, narrow gullies and fissures in the rock that develop into caves at the waterline.’
    • ‘The remnant of a long-disused church building, it was built out of solid stone with massive buttresses supporting long, high walls.’
    • ‘Typical of its period is the way the upper parts of the walls step back above the buttresses before reaching a straight parapet.’
    • ‘Very slender and elegant precast concrete arches span the space to bear on buttresses so massive that they provide alcoves off the big central space, the social heart of the academic community.’
    • ‘The contrast is jaw-dropping; architectural values have been binned, and walls, windows and buttresses bunged in anywhere simply to prop up the facade at the front.’
    • ‘This is no ordinary brick arch and buttress structure.’
    • ‘They saw huge caverns, their roofs supported by great natural buttresses and pillars of rock.’
    • ‘Kain thanked the man and followed the directions, coming to a thickly built stone building with buttresses and smaller towers extending several stories above where the main building ended.’
    • ‘The handsome and much-photographed chimneys doubled as buttresses for added roof support.’
    • ‘Around the perimeter, massive brick buttresses provide lateral restraint.’
    • ‘The trunks of some of the trees were three times the girth of anything in Europe, and many had enormous walls of wood sprouting from their bases like the buttresses of gothic cathedrals.’
    • ‘The tower was built of massive columns, great white pillars, supported by beams and buttresses.’
    • ‘Up here, suspended dizzyingly more than 100 feet above the ground, it is easy to see how the great stone buttresses that support the magnificent cathedral have been eroded by time.’
    • ‘Great stone buttresses stood on either side of the wall, giving support to the monumental structure and framing the temple grounds themselves.’
    • ‘The frame acquired the architectural elements of its churchlike structure: columns, cornices, arches and traceries, buttresses, ornate roundels like rose windows.’
    • ‘This emphasised that the structure is not in fact circular, but built in straight segments that may indicate radial walls or buttresses.’
    • ‘I leaned against the damp stone of the buttress, tilting my head to follow the line of the sheer wall up to where the ghosts of clouds raced before the moon.’
    • ‘The pub itself has been strengthened by buttresses to stop the subsidence worsening, and survived the tremor unscathed.’
    prop, support, abutment, shore, pier, reinforcement, stanchion, stay, strut
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A projecting portion of a hill or mountain.
      • ‘Just south lies the brooding notched ridge of Chlas Glas and Bla Bheinn, a great wall of spires, gullies and buttresses.’
      • ‘A grassy bay separates this buttress from the fine slabs on Cir Mhor's SW face.’
      • ‘In spring, peregrines often nest near The Main Area or Red Slab and these buttresses should be avoided at this time.’
      • ‘The high cliffs are riven and seared by gullies, prominent ridges, towers and buttresses.’
      • ‘After scaling a relatively easy 3,000-foot buttress and traversing a huge glacial plateau below the main face, the climbers will stash most of their gear.’
      • ‘The beauty of the southeast buttress of Cathedral Peak is that it's all on, and it's all beautiful, classic, and fun.’
      • ‘I suggested we descend an intermediate ridge, cut across the western cirque, climb the northwest buttress of Cloud Peak, circle around, and complete the entire enchainment in the reverse direction.’
      • ‘We ate dried peaches, swigged iodized alpine water, and stared up at the pyramid-shaped northwest buttress of Cloud Peak.’
      • ‘Across the valley the mute, cloud-shrouded buttresses of Johannesburg Mountain wait like ghosts.’
      • ‘Near the head of the loch I pitched my tent in splendid, silent solitude on a grassy terrace beneath rocky buttresses and towering ridges.’
      • ‘Lion's Head stands to the north of Table Mountain, and the Apostles are the rocky buttresses behind it.’
      • ‘Return to the cairn and carry on up to the North Peak, where you can look down over the buttresses.’
      • ‘Then I look back at the mountain, but the clouds have descended and the buttresses have disappeared.’
      • ‘I know there are innumerably more adventurous routes that trace their way by gully and buttress, ridge and groove up the massive north-east face of the Ben.’
      • ‘Pass above the steep buttresses to the summit then descend the Sron a’ Gharbh Choire Bhig back to your starting point.’
      • ‘A big drop followed, down over rough rock and scree to the Bealach an Fhuarian from where a great greyish-white buttress reared alarmingly.’
      • ‘Soon the views of the great buttresses and ridges and gullies of the north-east face begin to open up.’
      • ‘About five metres beyond the second, you'll see a shelf about head height on a buttress formed where a thin inlet enters.’
      • ‘Hiking out, we talked about our ascent of the northwest buttress of Cloud Peak, trying to sound congratulatory.’
      • ‘Its position below the buttresses and ridges of Ben Nevis' convoluted north-east face really is outstanding.’
  • 2A source of defense or support.

    ‘there was a demand for a new stable order as a buttress against social collapse’
    • ‘In these short few weeks the coach must re-shape - he vehemently contests the description ‘rebuild’ - Rangers, with a new midfield, attack, and a defensive buttress or two.’
    • ‘At every stage in a fairytale life, the stoic sensible lovely Lancashire lass has been Tom's buttress, giving unstinting support and keeping his feet firmly on the ground.’
    • ‘It means he can defend his own defence, with Nerlinger providing the buttress to protect the centre-backs.’
    • ‘For the first time in human history the inferior man has no ready buttress for his self-regard.’
    • ‘The clergy did not do so because English kings were the protectors of the faith against heretics and a buttress against anticlerical attack.’
    • ‘The ‘truth’ becomes another buttress in the society's ideological infrastructure.’
    • ‘Stallman thus launched his movement to build a buttress against this trend, by developing a free operating system within which the freedoms he had known could continue.’
    • ‘As a buttress of the ugly martial law regime, it wrecked many more lives than those of these two kidnappers.’
    • ‘They were a more effective buttress of the Crown than its own bureaucracy or civil service.’
    • ‘The Church is called a pillar and buttress because there are many local churches throughout the world performing this function.’
    • ‘Even ‘reverence for the emperor, the most important ideological buttress of the old order, was evidently giving way’.’
    • ‘Property and financial prosperity were powerful testimonies to the strength of each of these categories and a buttress to weak claims to either.’
    • ‘Male conservatives can then quote female operatives, using the sex of the original messenger as a buttress against similar complaints.’
    • ‘You'll simmer them quickly in their own juices with onion, garlic, and fresh basil, gentle buttresses for their full, robust flavor.’
    • ‘Chad was seen as a buttress against Libya.’
    • ‘These statements only underscore the extent to which the unions and NDP are buttresses of the existing social order.’
    • ‘The main buttress of state security is the national defense capability and only after it comes the economic might.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Provide (a building or structure) with projecting supports built against its walls.

    ‘a buttressed wall’
    • ‘High, spidery scaffolding buttressed its walls on both sides, and though there was no one working now, Pres could see pails and rags scattered along the planking.’
    • ‘All the televisions were tuned to the Weather Channel and workers buttressed the hotel's smoked-glass windows with sheets of plywood.’
    • ‘Rafters were cut into mortised joints at the ridge, and braces buttress the walls in every direction.’
    • ‘A protective structure adapted to buttress opposed upright walls of an excavation.’
    • ‘Preparing for all these people, and buttressing runways for a plane that can weigh 544 tonnes on takeoff, is not cheap.’
    • ‘For example, huge ‘flying shores’ had to be fitted to buttress the structure against movement.’
    • ‘It is more economical to buttress it at certain intervals than to make the entire wall thicker.’
    • ‘Although these thrusts can be resolved by tensile reinforcing in the perimeter beams it is simplest, and most natural, and stable to use the building itself to buttress the horizontal thrusts.’
    • ‘But he saw too that these same houses were surrounded by high walls, all heavily buttressed against the regular earthquakes.’
    • ‘The outer walls were buttressed with typical large blocks while within, they were fashioned from small unfinished stones mortared into place, reminding one of a traditional castle or keep in Avalon or Torrencia.’
  • 2Increase the strength of or justification for; reinforce.

    ‘authority was buttressed by religious belief’
    • ‘I was expecting at least a stout defence, and probably new evidence that would help buttress his case, but he barely rated a mention in Trevor Mallard's speech, and I will tell the members why.’
    • ‘And small-world experiences that we encounter naturally buttress people's religious faith as evidence of ‘design.’’
    • ‘Cable and satellite operators seldom disclose subscription numbers, but what numbers are available buttress Peck's point.’
    • ‘The move buttresses Hormel's long-standing strategy to form joint ventures with Mexican, Asian, Indian and Mediterranean brands to cater to the growing ethnic population.’
    • ‘We regard Article 10 as reinforcing and buttressing the conclusions we have reached and set out above.’
    • ‘It is as if their role in life is to appease, and even buttress, the white liberal conscience while naturally continuing to do all the dirty work.’
    • ‘By waging geopolitical wars, clamping down on immigration and regulating the mobility of capital, it buttresses its own authority, and maintains the false boundaries of nation-states.’
    • ‘Whether in business or politics, partnerships are supposed to buttress the strengths of those involved.’
    • ‘By this reckoning, buoyant growth will boost wages and salaries, giving home buyers the extra money they need to cover their increased borrowing costs and so buttress housing.’
    • ‘Remember, these thinly capitalized companies' insurance buttress truly enormous quantities of securities.’
    • ‘Ultimately, though, this fear of sexuality buttresses Bulosan's inability to perceive the material realities of prostitution and sexual abuse.’
    • ‘He had read a great deal of history, but he does not buttress his position by quoting from historical sources, as he was later to do.’
    • ‘The southern Cape's political strength is very much buttressed because the party's Provincial Leader is the mayor of George.’
    • ‘The Athenian polis, buttressed by the strength of its Council of Five Hundred and Assembly of citizens, managed to gain control of a confederation of city-states which gradually became the Athenian Empire.’
    • ‘Wenger noted that sustained workplace relationships and interaction buttress communities of practice.’
    • ‘Transmitted to Washington by the British, the Zimmermann telegram helped buttress President Woodrow Wilson's decision to call for a declaration of war against Germany.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, many private landowners maintain feeders and dole out mineral supplements to retain the deer and buttress antler growth.’
    • ‘The evidence about human genetic differences in cognition found in psychometric research increasingly is getting buttressed by results from biological research.’
    • ‘When analysts can cite other experts, whether private sector or foreign liaison, they add to their own credibility - experts talk to other experts - as well as buttress their argument.’
    • ‘In other words, participant observers frequently buttress their observations with methods of data collection that allow them access to important areas that are not amenable to observation.’
    strengthen, reinforce, fortify, support, prop up, bolster up, shore up, underpin, cement, brace, uphold, confirm, defend, maintain, back up, buoy up
    View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: from Old French (ars) bouterez ‘thrusting (arch)’, from boter ‘to strike or thrust’ (see butt).

Pronunciation

buttress

/ˈbətrəs//ˈbətrəs/