flying buttress


flying buttress
Archit.
a segmental arch transmitting an outward and downward thrust to a solid buttress that through its inertia transforms the thrust into a vertical one. See illus. under buttress.
[1660-70]

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Masonry structure typically consisting of an inclined bar carried on a half arch that extends ("flies") from the upper part of a wall to a pier some distance away and carries the thrust of a roof or vault.

A pinnacle (vertical ornament of pyramidal or conical shape) often crowns the pier, adding weight and enhancing stability. The flying buttress evolved in the Gothic era from earlier simpler, hidden supports. The design increased the supporting power of the buttress and allowed for the creation of the high-ceilinged churches typical of Gothic architecture.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flying buttress — Flying Fly ing, a. [From {Fly}, v. i.] Moving in the air with, or as with, wings; moving lightly or rapidly; intended for rapid movement. [1913 Webster] {Flying army} (Mil.) a body of cavalry and infantry, kept in motion, to cover its own… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flying buttress — Buttress But tress, n. [OE. butrasse, boterace, fr. F. bouter to push; cf. OF. bouteret (nom. sing. and acc. pl. bouterez) buttress. See {Butt} an end, and cf. {Butteris}.] 1. (Arch.) A projecting mass of masonry, used for resisting the thrust of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flying buttress — n. a buttress connected with a wall at some distance from it by an arch or part of an arch: it serves to resist outward pressure …   English World dictionary

  • flying buttress — n a curved line of stones or bricks that are joined to the outside wall of a large building such as a church, and help to support it …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • flying buttress — noun count a curved structure that supports the wall of a building …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Flying buttress — A flying buttress, or arc boutant, is a specific type of buttress usually found on a religious building such as a cathedral. They are used to transmit the horizontal thrust of a vault across an intervening space (which might be an aisle, chapel… …   Wikipedia

  • flying buttress — arc boutant arc bou tant ([aum]r b[ooma] t[aum]N), n. [F.] (Arch.) A buttress that stands apart from the main structure and connected to it by an arch; same as {flying buttress}. Gwilt. Syn: flying buttress [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flying buttress — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms flying buttress : singular flying buttress plural flying buttresses a curved structure that supports the wall of a building …   English dictionary

  • flying buttress — noun a buttress that stands apart from the main structure and connected to it by an arch • Syn: ↑arc boutant • Hypernyms: ↑buttress, ↑buttressing …   Useful english dictionary

  • flying buttress — noun Date: 1669 a masonry structure that typically consists of a straight inclined bar carried on an arch and a solid pier or buttress against which it abuts and that receives the thrust of a roof or vault …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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