Definition of cantilever in US English:



  • 1A long projecting beam or girder fixed at only one end, used in bridge construction.

    • ‘Most long-span cable-stayed bridges have tie-downs on just one side of the cantilever.’
    • ‘Such signals can be located on a mast, bridge, or cantilever structure and in some rare cases in a dwarf signal.’
    • ‘Canopies are supported on steel cantilevers from monolithic black concrete piers, so from river to warehouse (south-north), the structure seems almost solid.’
    • ‘Six workers were killed and another injured when part of a balanced cantilever of an overpass under construction along the express road leading to the Yuankang fishing port in Hsiping, Miaoli County collapsed.’
    • ‘But the famous cantilevers allows the Forth Bridge to support the weight of the trains.’
    • ‘There is a specific and much researched way to go about constructing the base, extensions, and cantilevers of any and every scaffold.’
    • ‘The geometry of the cantilever construction was controlled primarily by applying a high degree of precision and maintaining very close tolerances on the prefabricated components used on the main span.’
    • ‘Theater patrons can also expect a stunning view, as the new facility's lobby will project out to near the edge of the bluffs in a bridge-like cantilever over the park.’
    • ‘Those who do know her work, however, will associate the 47-year-old most with her studies of the curves and cantilevers of the Forth Bridge over 20 years, which have been the subject of an acclaimed installation at the Talbot Rice Gallery.’
    • ‘The tip deflection of the longest cantilever was some 3 in., says Dave Budzius, project manager for steel erector Danny's Construction Co.’
    • ‘Primary steel was erected on 360 tons of falsework and in a certain order because of construction loading constraints and cantilevers.’
    • ‘The photograph on the attractive booklet provides no supporting evidence however, displaying as it does an image of cloudy blue sky seen through the cantilever of a bridge.’
    • ‘Right up there, on the very summit of one of the three great double cantilevers of the Forth Bridge, I looked north to the sweep of the Lomond Hills and south to Arthur's Seat.’
    • ‘The cantilevers of Lean's bridge were similar to what the Japanese used on the real River Kwai.’
    joist, purlin, girder, spar, support, strut, stay, brace, scantling, batten, transom, lintel, stringer, baulk, board, timber, plank, lath, rafter
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    1. 1.1 A long bracket or beam projecting from a wall to support a balcony, cornice, or similar structure.
      • ‘The big span of the public area and the long cantilevers are, of course, generated by using an inner concrete structure that is masked by the flowing white masonry.’
      • ‘Here the road has been widened and supported on cantilever beams over the gorge and at the most slip prone area a protective roof has been built over the road.’
      • ‘A tilt-up concrete shear wall braces a wood-frame structure, and a steel frame supports the cantilever.’
      • ‘Underneath the cantilever, glass panels between the beams form a band of clerestorey glazing admitting daylight to the ground floor.’
      • ‘With numerous decorative and custom variants, Siteco has developed masts and cantilevers, hood variants and trough fittings to cater for many situations, with a choice of two diffusers, clear or satin.’
      • ‘This was the case in the four corner towers of the Knights of Columbus Building by Roche-Dinkeloo and the cores of all buildings in which the floors were suspended from cantilevers at the top.’
      • ‘An inner court is revealed under a strange portico formed by projecting the caretaker's flat over the entrance route in a hair-raising cantilever which stops just short of the neighbouring building.’
      • ‘As an example, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is now undergoing structural repair to its famous cantilevers.’
      • ‘The cantilever on the canal side is counterbalanced by the concrete ground floor on the land side.’
      • ‘A cantilever bracket called tou-kung was used to carry the eaves overhang as far as possible, beyond the outermost columns.’
      • ‘This is joined by a compartmented cross-wall and culminates at each end in porches below second-story cantilevers.’
      • ‘Accomplished through the use of multiple steel trusses, the cantilever prevents the older structure from being overwhelmed by the new.’
      • ‘One afternoon, while working on the Sydney Opera House, I walked over with Joern Utzon to where the concreters were about to remove the formwork from the just-poured cantilever beams for the northern foyers.’
      • ‘Therefore, five 11m long cantilevers were created to allow the total number of dwellings to reach 100 while keeping to the planners’ preferred footprint.’
      • ‘The main hall takes up most of the central span and the space under the east cantilever, while the one to the west projects out over the street to provide an entrance portico and foyer.’
      • ‘Sometimes retaining walls are designed as cantilevers.’
      • ‘Under the cantilever is a new sitting room, which looks out east across a slender garden and straight into a tall newly-planted, impenetrable evergreen hedge that protects the President's privacy at ground level.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, the E1027 is just about childproof, if you make sure the spine is firmly against a wall so the cantilever supports your infant's weight as they haul themselves up to swipe off everything carefully arranged on top of it.’
      • ‘A 9m cantilever carries the upper storeys over First Street to the north, supporting a light bar that serves as a marquee to this piece of urban theatre.’
      • ‘Structure is feathered at the edges by cantilevers which reinforce the pervading impression of weightlessness.’


[with object]usually as adjective cantilevered
  • 1Support by a cantilever or cantilevers.

    ‘a cantilevered deck’
    • ‘The western end which, because of the slope of the site, was able to be cantilevered over the landscape is effectively a glass box with views in all directions.’
    • ‘A stair is cantilevered over the granite clad pool, drawing you up through the central well.’
    • ‘A flight of timber treads is cantilevered off the wall, supported by an internal edge beam of welded steel angles, some of which return vertically to form the framework for the glass balustrade.’
    • ‘Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, its upper floors will be cantilevered from a concrete core and will be topped by enormous digital television broadcasting towers.’
    • ‘The tile countertop is cantilevered so it can also serve as a bar-height eating area.’
    • ‘The shed is secured by metal pin-piles drilled into the sandy soil and connected at the base of the building to vertically cantilevered fir posts.’
    • ‘The glass and metal roof is cantilevered 4-feet beyond the piers.’
    • ‘Big sculptural trapezoids are cantilevered off this block.’
    • ‘At right angles is another axis created by the new, cantilevered staircase of beech wood, framed by two walls of reinforced concrete painted with a natural clay-colored pigment.’
    • ‘Yet despite the close relationship between inside and outside, the room barely touches the garden; it is cantilevered over it, suggesting that the relationship is intangible rather than physical.’
    • ‘Conference rooms are cantilevered out into the forest canopy.’
    • ‘Built of steel, concrete and glass, the structure was cantilevered over a waterfall.’
    • ‘This transparency is achievable because the building front is cantilevered and suspended from the main structure by diagonal ties.’
    • ‘It has cantilevered upper floors and an illusive skin that changes in response to outside conditions, turning nearly transparent at dusk.’
    • ‘The main elevation faces the square and is marked by a curved canopy which is cantilevered off wood columns, creating a sense of welcome at the same time as affording real protection from the elements.’
    • ‘Although it looks like the house is cantilevered far to the right and is about to fall over, the piece is actually very balanced and strong.’
    • ‘The beam is attached to the columns by means of a specially designed clamping system and has two cantilevered outriggers that anchor the top of the tension cables.’
    • ‘Beyond the gallery, the rectangular reading room is cantilevered over the education space on white precast concrete beams.’
    • ‘From below, it appears as a truncated wedge that broadens and flares out in response to the contours of the site, and is cantilevered off three slender columns.’
    • ‘By cantilevering the structure across the street instead of putting structural support inside the residential tower, the architects economized on materials, time, and disruption of university life.’
    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial of direction Project as or like a cantilever.
      ‘a conveyor cantilevered out over the river’
      • ‘The floors span from the core to a second row of columns then cantilever to support the suspended glass block facade.’
      • ‘Smoke from a slender chimney vents above the height of the second-level cooling room, a triangular ‘wood tube’ that cantilevers beyond a supporting brick wall.’
      • ‘Each floorplate rotates and cantilevers over the one below and no single internal column runs through the entire structure (only four walls project through from top to bottom).’
      • ‘On the west side, a canopy cantilevers out 8m along the building's entire length.’
      • ‘Opposite the workstation, a dining table of thick maple planks cantilevers from the wall just beneath the gas fireplace.’


Mid 17th century: of unknown origin.