Definition of cantilever in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkantɪliːvə/


1A long projecting beam or girder fixed at only one end, used in bridge construction.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
1.1A long bracket or beam projecting from a wall to support a balcony, cornice, etc.
Example sentences
  • 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 cantilever bracket called tou-kung was used to carry the eaves overhang as far as possible, beyond the outermost columns.
  • A tilt-up concrete shear wall braces a wood-frame structure, and a steel frame supports the cantilever.


[with object] (usually as adjective cantilevered)
1Support by a cantilever or cantilevers: a cantilevered deck
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Project as or like a cantilever: a conveyor cantilevered out over the river
More example sentences
  • Opposite the workstation, a dining table of thick maple planks cantilevers from the wall just beneath the gas fireplace.
  • 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.
  • The floors span from the core to a second row of columns then cantilever to support the suspended glass block facade.


Mid 17th century: of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: can¦ti|lever

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