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bascule

[bas-kyool] /ˈbæs kyul/
noun, Civil Engineering
1.
a device operating like a balance or seesaw, especially an arrangement of a movable bridge (bascule bridge) by which the rising floor or section is counterbalanced by a weight.
Origin
1670-1680
1670-80; French: name for a number of seesawlike mechanical devices, Middle French bacule, noun derivative of baculer to strike on the buttocks (probably orig., to land on one's buttocks), equivalent to bas down (see base2) + -culer, verbal derivative of cul rump, buttocks (see culet); -s- by false analysis as bas(se) adj. + cule taken as a feminine noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for bascule bridge

bascule

/ˈbæskjuːl/
noun
1.
Also called balance bridge, counterpoise bridge. a bridge with a movable section hinged about a horizontal axis and counterbalanced by a weight Compare drawbridge
2.
a movable roadway forming part of such a bridge: Tower Bridge has two bascules
Word Origin
C17: from French: seesaw, from bas low + cul rump; see base², culet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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