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[bas-kyool] /ˈbæs kyul/
noun, Civil Engineering.
a device operating like a balance or seesaw, especially an arrangement of a movable bridge (bascule bridge) by which the rising floor or section is counterbalanced by a weight.
Origin of bascule
1670-80; French: name for a number of seesawlike mechanical devices, Middle French bacule, noun derivative of baculer to strike on the buttocks (probably orig., to land on one's buttocks), equivalent to bas down (see base2) + -culer, verbal derivative of cul rump, buttocks (see culet); -s- by false analysis as bas(se) adj. + cule taken as a feminine noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bascule
Historical Examples
  • The assistants seized the condemned man, and pushed him on to the bascule.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • bascule, bas′kūl, n. an apparatus of the lever kind, in which one end is raised while the other is depressed.

  • We shall see the poor devil get out of the carriage, and being fastened on to the bascule, and pulled into the lunette.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • The cost has been set down at 65,000, or about one-thirtieth that of a suspension bridge, and one-third that of a bascule bridge.

    The Romance of Modern Mechanism Archibald Williams
British Dictionary definitions for bascule


Also called balance bridge, counterpoise bridge. a bridge with a movable section hinged about a horizontal axis and counterbalanced by a weight Compare drawbridge
a movable roadway forming part of such a bridge: Tower Bridge has two bascules
Word Origin
C17: from French: seesaw, from bas low + cul rump; see base², culet
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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