buttress

[ buh-tris ]
/ ˈbʌ trɪs /

noun

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.
any prop or support.
a thing shaped like a buttress, as a tree trunk with a widening base.
a bony or horny protuberance, especially on a horse's hoof.

verb (used with object)

to support by a buttress; prop up.
to give encouragement or support to (a person, plan, etc.).

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 forms

but·tress·less, adjectivebut·tress·like, adjectivenon·but·tressed, adjectiveun·but·tressed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buttress

British Dictionary definitions for buttress

buttress

/ (ˈbʌtrɪs) /

noun

Also called: pier a construction, usually of brick or stone, built to support a wallSee also flying buttress
any support or prop
something shaped like a buttress, such as a projection from a mountainside
either of the two pointed rear parts of a horse's hoof

verb (tr)

to support (a wall) with a buttress
to support or sustain

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