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[bas-kyool] /ˈbæs kyul/
noun, Civil Engineering
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 of bascule
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bascule
Historical Examples
  • The assistants seized the condemned man, and pushed him on to the bascule.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • bascule, bas′kūl, n. an apparatus of the lever kind, in which one end is raised while the other is depressed.

  • The cost has been set down at 65,000, or about one-thirtieth that of a suspension bridge, and one-third that of a bascule bridge.

    The Romance of Modern Mechanism Archibald Williams
  • We shall see the poor devil get out of the carriage, and being fastened on to the bascule, and pulled into the lunette.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for bascule


Also called balance bridge, counterpoise bridge. a bridge with a movable section hinged about a horizontal axis and counterbalanced by a weight Compare drawbridge
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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