Definition of buttress in English:

buttress

Syllabification: but·tress
Pronunciation: /ˈbətris
 
/

noun

1A projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.
More example sentences
  • The remnant of a long-disused church building, it was built out of solid stone with massive buttresses supporting long, high walls.
  • Around the perimeter, massive brick buttresses provide lateral restraint.
  • 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.
Synonyms
prop, support, abutment, brace, shore, pier, reinforcement, stanchion
1.1A projecting portion of a hill or mountain.
More example sentences
  • Its position below the buttresses and ridges of Ben Nevis' convoluted north-east face really is outstanding.
  • Across the valley the mute, cloud-shrouded buttresses of Johannesburg Mountain wait like ghosts.
  • Pass above the steep buttresses to the summit then descend the Sron a’ Gharbh Choire Bhig back to your starting point.
2A source of defense or support: there was a demand for a new stable order as a buttress against social collapse
More example sentences
  • Even ‘reverence for the emperor, the most important ideological buttress of the old order, was evidently giving way’.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Synonyms
safeguard, defense, protection, guard; support, prop; bulwark

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Provide (a building or structure) with projecting supports built against its walls: (as adjective buttressed) a buttressed wall
More example sentences
  • For example, huge ‘flying shores’ had to be fitted to buttress the structure against movement.
  • Preparing for all these people, and buttressing runways for a plane that can weigh 544 tonnes on takeoff, is not cheap.
  • 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
More example sentences
  • We regard Article 10 as reinforcing and buttressing the conclusions we have reached and set out above.
  • 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.
  • Whether in business or politics, partnerships are supposed to buttress the strengths of those involved.
Synonyms
strengthen, reinforce, fortify, support, bolster, shore up, underpin, cement, uphold, prop up, defend, sustain, back up

Origin

Middle English: from Old French (ars) bouterez 'thrusting (arch)', from boter 'to strike, thrust' (see butt1).

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