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[pi-las-ter] /pɪˈlæs tər/
noun, Architecture.
a shallow rectangular feature projecting from a wall, having a capital and base and usually imitating the form of a column.
Origin of pilaster
1565-75; pile1 (in obsolete sense “pillar”) + -aster1, modeled on Italian pilastro or Medieval Latin pīlastrum
Related forms
underpilaster, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for pilaster


a shallow rectangular column attached to the face of a wall
Derived Forms
pilastered, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from French pilastre, from Latin pīla pillar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pilaster

a square column, 1570s, from Middle French pilastre (1540s), from Italian pilastro, from Medieval Latin pilastrum (mid-14c.), from pila, "buttress, pile" (from Latin pila, see pillar) + Latin -aster, suffix "expressing incomplete resemblance" [Barnhart].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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