entasis

[en-tuh-sis]
noun Architecture.
a slight convexity given to a column or tower, as to correct an optical illusion.

Origin:
1745–55; < Greek, equivalent to enta- (variant stem of enteínein to stretch tight, equivalent to en- en-2 + teínein to stretch) + -sis -sis

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World English Dictionary
entasis (ˈɛntəsɪs)
 
n , pl -ses
1.  a slightly convex curve given to the shaft of a column, pier, or similar structure, to correct the illusion of concavity produced by a straight shaft
2.  physiol Also called: entasia an involuntary or spasmodic muscular contraction
 
[C18: from Greek, from enteinein to stretch tight, from teinein to stretch]

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Example sentences
The unfluted shafts have exaggerated entasis and the molded capitals are elongated in form.
The turned balusters taper with slight entasis and stand on integral pedestals.
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