noun Architecture.

a slight convexity given to a column or tower, as to correct an optical illusion.

Origin of entasis

1745–55; < Greek, equivalent to enta- (variant stem of enteínein to stretch tight, equivalent to en- en-2 + teínein to stretch) + -sis -sis
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Examples from the Web for entasis

Historical Examples of entasis

  • The shaft is well shaped, with a moderate swelling (entasis).

  • The powerful shafts were doubly modified by the diminution and by the entasis.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • The entasis was entirely decided by such optical considerations.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

  • This peculiarity is a convexity, or entasis, as it is called, on the inner faces.

    Roman Mosaics

    Hugh Macmillan

  • This entasis was surrounded by a row of leaves, again characterizing the ascending bundle as stems.

    History of Ancient Art

    Franz von Reber

British Dictionary definitions for entasis


noun plural -ses (-siːz)

a slightly convex curve given to the shaft of a column, pier, or similar structure, to correct the illusion of concavity produced by a straight shaft
Also called: entasia (ɛnˈteɪzɪə) physiol an involuntary or spasmodic muscular contraction

Word Origin for entasis

C18: from Greek, from enteinein to stretch tight, from teinein to stretch
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