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flying buttress

noun, Architecture
1.
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
1660-1670
1660-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for flying buttress

flying buttress

noun
1.
a buttress supporting a wall or other structure by an arch or part of an arch that transmits the thrust outwards and downwards Also called arc-boutant
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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flying buttress in Culture

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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Difficulty index for flying buttress

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for flying

13
15
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