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[uh-buht-muh nt] /əˈbʌt mənt/
Architecture, Civil Engineering.
  1. a masonry mass supporting and receiving the thrust of part of an arch or vault.
  2. a force that serves to abut an arch or vault.
  3. a mass, as of masonry, receiving the arch, beam, truss, etc., at each end of a bridge.
  4. a mass or structure for resisting the pressure of water on a bridge, pier, or the like.
  5. each of the parts of a canyon or the like receiving the thrusts of an arch dam.
  6. a structure for absorbing tensions from reinforcing strands for concrete being prestressed.
the place where projecting parts meet; junction.
Dentistry. a tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.
Origin of abutment
First recorded in 1635-45; abut + -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for abutment
Historical Examples
  • There was no railing to this abutment, not even a coping along its borders.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • Considering the abutment and wing wall work, comprising 594 cu.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • The abutment forms were built up as the concreting progressed.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Where they stood an abutment of the cliff hid the ravine below.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • As he formed this resolution, he emerged from the shadow of the abutment.

  • There was a stone wall, or abutment, near the town, about sixty feet high.

    My Life Josiah Flynt
  • They had not yet mounted the abutment, and were then securing their horses near the bank of the creek.

    In The Saddle Oliver Optic
  • It was like going up hill, but the Socrates reached the abutment and was safe.

    The Ashtabula Disaster Stephen D. Peet
  • On each side the abutment piers had been undermined and washed out.

    The U.P. Trail Zane Grey
  • But--I feel bound to state that I am in some doubt as to the abutment on the other side!'

    The Lincoln Story Book Henry L. Williams
British Dictionary definitions for abutment


the state or process of abutting
  1. something that abuts
  2. the thing on which something abuts
  3. the point of junction between them
(architect, civil engineering) a construction that takes the thrust of an arch or vault or supports the end of a bridge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abutment

1640s, from abut + -ment. Originally any "junction;" the architectural usage is attested from 1793 (the notion is of the meeting-place of the arches of a bridge, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abutment in Medicine

abutment a·but·ment (ə-bŭt'mənt)
A natural tooth or implanted tooth substitute used to support or anchor a dental prosthesis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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