[ 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bascule

  • 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.

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

  • The assistants seized the condemned man, and pushed him on to the bascule.

    Fantmas|Pierre Souvestre

British Dictionary definitions for bascule

/ (ˈbæskjuːl) /


Also called: balance bridge, counterpoise bridge a bridge with a movable section hinged about a horizontal axis and counterbalanced by a weightCompare drawbridge
a movable roadway forming part of such a bridgeTower Bridge has two bascules

Word Origin for bascule

C17: from French: seesaw, from bas low + cul rump; see base ², 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