One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the wall was supported by stone buttresses’
prop, support, abutment, shore, pier, reinforcement, stanchion, stay, strut
2‘a buttress against social collapse’
safeguard, defence, defender, protector, protection, guard, support, supporter, prop, mainstay
bulwark, bastion, stronghold
1‘authority was buttressed by religious belief’
strengthen, reinforce, fortify, support, prop up, bolster up, shore up, underpin, cement, brace, uphold, confirm, defend, maintain, back up, buoy up
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