- a buttress, especially one for strengthening a basement wall against the pressure of earth.
- a cantilevered weight, as in a retaining wall, having the form of a pier built on the side of the material to be retained.
Origin of counterfort
1580–90; partial translation of Middle French contrefort, equivalent to contre counter- + fort strength (derivative of fort (adj.) strong)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for counterfort
The manifest and only function of the rib or counterfort is to tie together the curtain wall and the horizontal slab.
These rods are the vertical and horizontal rods in the counterfort of the retaining wall shown at a, in Fig. 2.
In a counterfort, the inclined rods are sufficient to take the overturning stress.
He seems to mean the force tending to pull the counterfort loose from the horizontal slab.
Mr. Mensch states that "it would take up too much time to prove that the counterfort acts really as a beam."
- civil engineering a strengthening buttress at right angles to a retaining wall, bonded to it to prevent overturning or to increase its bending strength
from a partial translation of French contrefort, from contre counter + fort strength; see fort