• synonyms


[koun-ter-fawrt, -fohrt]
  1. a buttress, especially one for strengthening a basement wall against the pressure of earth.
  2. a cantilevered weight, as in a retaining wall, having the form of a pier built on the side of the material to be retained.
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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

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British Dictionary definitions for counterfort


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

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