Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

buttress

[buh-tris]
See more synonyms for buttress on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any external prop or support built to steady a structure by opposing its outward thrusts, especially a projecting support built into or against the outside of a masonry wall.
  2. any prop or support.
  3. a thing shaped like a buttress, as a tree trunk with a widening base.
  4. a bony or horny protuberance, especially on a horse's hoof.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to support by a buttress; prop up.
  2. to give encouragement or support to (a person, plan, etc.).
Show More

Origin of buttress

1350–1400; Middle English butresOld French (arc) boterez thrusting (arch) nominative singular of boteret (accusative), equivalent to boter- abutment (perhaps < Germanic; see butt3) + -et -et
Related formsbut·tress·less, adjectivebut·tress·like, adjectivenon·but·tressed, adjectiveun·but·tressed, adjective

Synonyms for buttress

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
6. encourage, hearten, support, inspirit, brace, back up, reinforce, shore up.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for buttress

strengthen, reinforce, uphold, mainstay, column, strut, stanchion, reinforcement, stay, underpinning, shore, prop, pier, abutment, bulwark, sustain, carry, brace

Examples from the Web for buttress

Contemporary Examples of buttress

Historical Examples of buttress

  • The end of the buttress was a foot or two below the level of the leads, where Clara stood.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • I got astride of the buttress, and painfully forced my way up.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • As the buttress does not bond with the wall it was evidently a later addition.

  • Philip was too busy keeping behind the buttress to see who they were who were talking.

    The Magic City

    Edith Nesbit

  • “That ridge along the summit of yonder spur or buttress,” said Dale.

    The Crystal Hunters

    George Manville Fenn


British Dictionary definitions for buttress

buttress

noun
  1. Also called: pier a construction, usually of brick or stone, built to support a wallSee also flying buttress
  2. any support or prop
  3. something shaped like a buttress, such as a projection from a mountainside
  4. either of the two pointed rear parts of a horse's hoof
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to support (a wall) with a buttress
  2. to support or sustain
Show More

Word Origin for buttress

C13: from Old French bouterez, short for ars bouterez thrusting arch, from bouter to thrust, butt ³
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 buttress

n.

early 14c., from Old French (arc) botrez "flying buttress," apparently from bouter "to thrust against," of Frankish origin (cf. Old Norse bauta "to strike, beat"), from Proto-Germanic *butan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike" (see butt (v.)).

Show More
v.

late 14c., literal and figurative, from buttress (n.). Related: Buttressed; buttressing.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper