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buttress (BUHT-ris) noun

1. An external structure built to support a wall or a building.

2. Something or someone that supports.

verb tr.

To support or reinforce.

[From Middle English butres, from Old French boterez, from bouter (to push against).]

Here are pictures of a buttress and a flying buttress.

"The largest, oldest trees, which Polish park officials honor as 'monuments to nature,' soar to 180 feet, supported on the moist, muddy soils by buttress-like root structures resembling those found in many rain forests."
Dianne Dumanoski; Forest Primeval: Species-Rich Wilderness Offers a Window on Earlier Times; Boston Globe; Apr 13, 1992;

"Rasaratnam quotes heads of international development agencies to buttress his case for a new administrative structure outside the present institutions."
PK Balachanddran; LTTE May Seek Jettisoning of Lankan Bureaucracy From NEP; The Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India); Jun 25, 2003.

This week's theme: words from architecture.


Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -Ambrose Bierce, writer (1842-1914)

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