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[kan-tl-ee-ver, -ev-er] /ˈkæn tlˌi vər, -ˌɛv ər/
any rigid structural member projecting from a vertical support, especially one in which the projection is great in relation to the depth, so that the upper part is in tension and the lower part in compression.
Building Trades, Civil Engineering. any rigid construction extending horizontally well beyond its vertical support, used as a structural element of a bridge (cantilever bridge) building foundation, etc.
Aeronautics. a form of wing construction in which no external bracing is used.
Architecture. a bracket for supporting a balcony, cornice, etc.
verb (used without object)
to project in the manner of a cantilever.
verb (used with object)
to construct in the manner of a cantilever.
Also, cantalever, cantaliver.
Origin of cantilever
1660-70; perhaps cant2 + -i- + lever Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cantilevered
  • Within the bathroom, the cantilevered shelving defines the shower area without walling it off from the vanity.
  • Portions of the old road here jut out from cliffs on cantilevered logs wedged into the cracks of rock.
  • Wright cantilevered the esplanade roofs off of surprisingly-shaped supports on one side.
  • The branches- reinforced concrete floors-are cantilevered off it, allowing the floors to taper to as little as three inches thick.
  • It's carefully designed, with a sumptuously cantilevered icy-white carapace over a brushed aluminum hull.
  • But these were put down to the experimental nature of the strikingly cantilevered house, rather than anything fundamentally wrong.
  • He slipped a long, ribbonlike building along the contours of the ridge, supporting it on cantilevered steel columns.
  • Three cantilevered house levels extend from the hillside, allowing the namesake waterfall to gush through the building.
  • The soaring rotunda dominates the interior, and is dramatically encircled by a keystone-cantilevered staircase.
  • The old structure was replaced by an exceptionally attractive concrete cantilevered-arch span.
British Dictionary definitions for cantilevered


  1. a beam, girder, or structural framework that is fixed at one end and is free at the other
  2. (as modifier): a cantilever wing
a wing or tailplane of an aircraft that has no external bracing or support
a part of a beam or a structure projecting outwards beyond its support
(transitive) to construct (a building member, beam, etc) so that it is fixed at one end only
(intransitive) to project like a cantilever
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from cant² + lever
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
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Word Origin and History for cantilevered



1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c.1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can "dog," architect's term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cantilevered in Science
  (kān'tl-ē'vər, -ěv'ər)   
A projecting structure, such as a beam, that is supported at one end and that carries a load at the other end or along its length. Cantilevers are important structures in the design of bridges and cranes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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