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bascule

[ bas-kyool ]
/ ˈbæs kyul /
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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.

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Origin of bascule

First recorded in 1670–80; from French: name for a number of seesawlike mechanical devices, Middle French bacule, noun derivative of baculer “to strike on the buttocks” (probably originally, “to land on one's buttocks”), equivalent to bas “down” + -culer, verbal derivative of cul “rump, buttocks”; -s- by false analysis as bas(se) adjective + cule taken as a feminine noun; see base2, culet
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British Dictionary definitions for bascule

bascule
/ (ˈbæskjuːl) /

noun

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
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