flying but-tress

flying buttress

noun Architecture.
a segmental arch transmitting an outward and downward thrust to a solid buttress that through its inertia transforms the thrust into a vertical one.

Origin:
1660–70

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World English Dictionary
flying buttress
 
n
Also called: arc-boutant a buttress supporting a wall or other structure by an arch or part of an arch that transmits the thrust outwards and downwards

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

flying buttress definition


An external, arched support for the wall of a church or other building. Flying buttresses were used in many Gothic cathedrals; they enabled builders to put up very tall but comparatively thin stone walls, so that much of the wall space could be filled with stained-glass windows. The cathedrals of Chartres and Notre Dame de Paris were built with flying buttresses.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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