abutment

[uh-buht-muhnt]
noun
1.
Architecture, Civil Engineering.
a.
a masonry mass supporting and receiving the thrust of part of an arch or vault.
b.
a force that serves to abut an arch or vault.
c.
a mass, as of masonry, receiving the arch, beam, truss, etc., at each end of a bridge.
d.
a mass or structure for resisting the pressure of water on a bridge, pier, or the like.
e.
each of the parts of a canyon or the like receiving the thrusts of an arch dam.
f.
a structure for absorbing tensions from reinforcing strands for concrete being prestressed.
2.
the place where projecting parts meet; junction.
3.
Dentistry. a tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.

Origin:
1635–45; abut + -ment

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
abutment or abuttal (əˈbʌtmənt)
 
n
1.  the state or process of abutting
2.  a.  something that abuts
 b.  the thing on which something abuts
 c.  the point of junction between them
3.  architect, civil engineering a construction that takes the thrust of an arch or vault or supports the end of a bridge
 
abuttal or abuttal
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

abutment
1640s; see abut. Originally any "junction;" the architectural usage is attested from 1793 (the notion is of the meeting-place of the arches of a bridge, etc.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

abutment a·but·ment (ə-bŭt'mənt)
n.
A natural tooth or implanted tooth substitute used to support or anchor a dental prosthesis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
However, to date no standard abutment designs have been developed.
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