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[koun-ter-fawrt, -fohrt] /ˈkaʊn tərˌfɔrt, -ˌfoʊrt/
a buttress, especially one for strengthening a basement wall against the pressure of earth.
a cantilevered weight, as in a retaining wall, having the form of a pier built on the side of the material to be retained.
Origin of counterfort
1580-90; partial translation of Middle French contrefort, equivalent to contre counter- + fort strength (derivative of fort (adj.) strong) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for counterfort
  • Semi-gravity cantilever, counterfort and buttress walls are constructed of reinforced concrete.
  • Sign-board type retaining walls are a special case of counterfort retaining walls.
  • There will be several small counterfort walls perpendicular to the south side of the grade wall.
British Dictionary definitions for counterfort


(civil engineering) a strengthening buttress at right angles to a retaining wall, bonded to it to prevent overturning or to increase its bending strength
Word Origin
from a partial translation of French contrefort, from contre counter + fort strength; see fort
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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