[ buh-tris ]
See synonyms for: buttressbuttressed on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. a thing shaped like a buttress, as a tree trunk with a widening base.

  2. a bony or horny protuberance, especially on a horse's hoof.

verb (used with object)
  1. to support by a buttress; prop up.

  2. to give encouragement or support to (a person, plan, etc.).

Origin of buttress

1350–1400; Middle English butres ≪ Old French (arc) boterez thrusting (arch) nominative singular of boteret (accusative), equivalent to boter- abutment (perhaps <Germanic; see butt3) + -et-et

Other words for buttress

Other words from buttress

  • but·tress·less, adjective
  • but·tress·like, adjective
  • non·but·tressed, adjective
  • un·but·tressed, adjective

Words Nearby buttress

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use buttress in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for buttress


/ (ˈbʌtrɪs) /

  1. Also called: pier a construction, usually of brick or stone, built to support a wall: See also flying buttress

  2. any support or prop

  1. something shaped like a buttress, such as a projection from a mountainside

  2. either of the two pointed rear parts of a horse's hoof

  1. to support (a wall) with a buttress

  2. to support or sustain

Origin of 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