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[gur-der] /ˈgɜr dər/
a large beam, as of steel, reinforced concrete, or timber, for supporting masonry, joists, purlins, etc.
a principal beam of wood, steel, etc., supporting the ends of joists.
1605-15; gird1 + -er1
Related forms
girderless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for girders
  • It was the fire weakened steel girders that brought the towers down.
  • Everywhere: the rising of steel girders, the mortaring of brick.
  • Mustering means scaring wild animals into small pens made of steel railroad girders.
  • We skidded down the steep embankment from the road to walk across the girders underneath the bridge.
  • The wind picked up, and the rusted girders of the mill groaned audibly under their cover of vines.
  • Drip tabs are used on unpainted weathering steel beams and girders.
  • The girders light weight allows many girders to be transported in a single shipment.
  • The girders supplying the dome damaged the scaffolding located below.
  • Instead, ibeam girders gave the bridge an art deco streamlined appearance.
British Dictionary definitions for girders


a large beam, esp one made of steel, used in the construction of bridges, buildings, etc
(botany) the structure composed of tissue providing mechanical support for a stem or leaf
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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Word Origin and History for girders



"main supporting beam that carries flooring," 1610s, agent noun from gird, on notion of something that "holds up" something else. Used of iron bridge supports from 1853.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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