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

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)
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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)
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
They also break legs clambering over concrete abutments and get smacked by automobiles.
Paint bleeds across the abutments between surface and frame, establishing the paint skin as the work's forward plane.
The stone piers and abutments, seen in the photo bottom left, are the only remaining elements from the original bridge.
Of course, there are a wide variation of conditions at abutments and each location needs to be designed for the site conditions.
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