[ koun-ter-fawrt, -fohrt ]
/ ˈkaʊn tərˌfɔrt, -ˌfoʊrt /


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.

Nearby words

  1. counterfactual,
  2. counterfeit,
  3. counterfeiting,
  4. counterfoil,
  5. counterforce,
  6. counterglow,
  7. counterimmunoelectrophoresis,
  8. counterincision,
  9. counterinsurgency,
  10. counterintelligence

Origin of counterfort

1580–90; partial translation of Middle French contrefort, equivalent to contre counter- + fort strength (derivative of fort (adj.) strong) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counterfort

British Dictionary definitions for counterfort


/ (ˈkaʊntəˌfɔːt) /


civil engineering a strengthening buttress at right angles to a retaining wall, bonded to it to prevent overturning or to increase its bending strength

Word Origin for counterfort

from a partial translation of French contrefort, from contre counter + fort strength; see fort

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