[uh-buht-muh nt]


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for abutment


Examples from the Web for abutment

Historical Examples of abutment

  • 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.

  • As he formed this resolution, he emerged from the shadow of the abutment.

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

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

abutment in Medicine




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.