Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or cantalever

[kan-tl-ee-ver, -ev-er] /ˈkæn tlˌi vər, -ˌɛv ər/
any rigid structural member projecting from a vertical support, especially one in which the projection is great in relation to the depth, so that the upper part is in tension and the lower part in compression.
Building Trades, Civil Engineering. any rigid construction extending horizontally well beyond its vertical support, used as a structural element of a bridge (cantilever bridge) building foundation, etc.
Aeronautics. a form of wing construction in which no external bracing is used.
Architecture. a bracket for supporting a balcony, cornice, etc.
verb (used without object)
to project in the manner of a cantilever.
verb (used with object)
to construct in the manner of a cantilever.
Also, cantaliver [kan-tl-ee-ver] /ˈkæn tlˌi vər/ (Show IPA).
Origin of cantilever
1660-70; perhaps cant2 + -i- + lever Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for cantilever
Historical Examples
  • It is more than likely, then, that he will turn to the cantilever.

    The Modern Railroad Edward Hungerford
  • We project our life forward as we build a cantilever bridge.

    The Meaning of Faith Harry Emerson Fosdick
  • Other bridges have since been built, among them a cantilever.

  • Two things have helped to put up a cantilever across the gulf.

    Modern Essays John Macy
  • Then he asked me whether it was a suspension bridge or a cantilever.

  • The forward ends of the poling boards were supported by a cantilever beam.

  • Over the Niagara gorge also was built one of the first cantilever bridges ever constructed.

    Stories of Inventors Russell Doubleday
  • The cantilever portion has the appearance of a vast elongated diamond.

    Inventions in the Century William Henry Doolittle
  • The construction of the arched roof is on the plan which engineers know as the cantilever, and not that of the Roman arch.

    The North Pole Robert E. Peary
  • By government survey we know that the depth of the river between the Falls and the cantilever bridge is two hundred feet.

    The Niagara River Archer Butler Hulbert
British Dictionary definitions for cantilever


  1. a beam, girder, or structural framework that is fixed at one end and is free at the other
  2. (as modifier): a cantilever wing
a wing or tailplane of an aircraft that has no external bracing or support
a part of a beam or a structure projecting outwards beyond its support
(transitive) to construct (a building member, beam, etc) so that it is fixed at one end only
(intransitive) to project like a cantilever
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from cant² + lever
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for cantilever

1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c.1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
cantilever in Science
  (kān'tl-ē'vər, -ěv'ər)   
A projecting structure, such as a beam, that is supported at one end and that carries a load at the other end or along its length. Cantilevers are important structures in the design of bridges and cranes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for cantilever

Word Value for cantilever

Scrabble Words With Friends