One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The forward edge of a ship's prow.
prow, front, forepart, stem, rostrum, ram, nose, head, bowspritView synonyms
- ‘It is constructed on massive foundations and lower courses, with cutwaters upstream, in typical Roman form.’
- ‘Although her hull was wood, it was completely protected by armor plates above the waterline and copper sheathing below, and also featured a concave cutwater at the bow.’
2A wedge-shaped projection on the pier of a bridge, which divides the flow of water and prevents debris from becoming trapped against the pier.
support, pile, piling, plinth, pedestal, foot, footing, abutment, buttress, stanchion, prop, stay, upright, pillar, post, columnView synonyms
- ‘This strength is reinforced by the slight curvature of the structure, by the cutwaters on the upstream side of the uprights, and by the wide span of the lower tiers of arches (especially the centre one).’
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