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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abutment
Historical Examples
  • It was Koto's voice, and it came from behind the abutment of rock toward which I was hurrying.

    The Winged Men of Orcon David R. Sparks
  • The abutment forms were built up as the concreting progressed.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • The Sergeant led the remainder of the detail down into the lee of an abutment, to avoid the full drive of the storm.

  • Considering the abutment and wing wall work, comprising 594 cu.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Bob got a boat and hurried out to the abutment after seeing Kalinski safely in the hands of the police.

  • Where they stood an abutment of the cliff hid the ravine below.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Then Woodford caught the lantern from Marks and came on down the abutment toward us.

    Dwellers in the Hills Melville Davisson Post
  • There was a stone wall, or abutment, near the town, about sixty feet high.

    My Life Josiah Flynt
  • Rofflash groped his way over the slimy floor to a small door which he knew opened on to an abutment between two arches.

    Madame Flirt Charles E. Pearce
  • 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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