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Abutment   Listen
Abutment  n.  
State of abutting.
That on or against which a body abuts or presses; as
(Arch.) The solid part of a pier or wall, etc., which receives the thrust or lateral pressure of an arch, vault, or strut.
(Mech.) A fixed point or surface from which resistance or reaction is obtained, as the cylinder head of a steam engine, the fulcrum of a lever, etc.
In breech-loading firearms, the block behind the barrel which receives the pressure due to recoil.

Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48

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"Abutment" Quotes from Famous Books

... the gray abutment's wall The idle shad-net dries; The toll-man in his cobbler's stall Sits smoking ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... wall the sun shone on this floor, which gleamed with iridescent beauty. Exploring the cleft, Major Powell found a succession of pools one above another, and each cold and clear, though the water of the river was a dull red. Then a bend in the canon disclosed a massive abutment that seemed to be set with a million brilliant gems as they approached it, and every one wondered. As they came closer to it they saw many springs bursting from the rock high overhead, and the spray in the sunshine forms the gems which glitter in the walls, at the base of which is a ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 26, October, 1880 • Various

... he began at Bridgewater, where a magnificent causeway forms the abutment of a bridge which connects both banks of the Derwent, was a task of many years: many thousand pounds in value lie buried. Arthur had estates in its vicinity. The other charges of corruption are of a similar nature, even less ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... foot of the western tower, he reined in his horse. He did not alight, but, approaching so near the wall that he could rest his foot upon an abutment, he stood up, and raised the blind of a window on the ground-floor, made in the form of a portcullis, such as is still seen ...
— Cinq Mars, Complete • Alfred de Vigny

... Then when the election comes off, we must drop everything and get every man to claim a residence in this county and vote him here. I'll admit that I'm no good as a wire-puller, but when it comes to getting out the voters, there's where you will find me as solid as a bridge abutment. ...
— Cattle Brands - A Collection of Western Camp-fire Stories • Andy Adams

... change of programs. Only when a program is rendered absolutely invalid—as mine was by the crystal communicator—is the program abandoned. When that happens, the average man drives his car into a telephone pole or a bridge abutment, or he steps in front of a truck at a street intersection. I drove into a gully ...
— The Great Gray Plague • Raymond F. Jones

... with the lantern upon the ruined abutment of the bridge, and showed a space beside the drift-wood, in the turbid and whirling current, ...
— The Young Surveyor; - or Jack on the Prairies • J. T. Trowbridge

... generally considered the nose the foundation or abutment of the brain, for upon this the whole power of the arch of the forehead rests. A beautiful nose will never be found accompanying an ugly countenance. An ugly person may have fine eyes, ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... O. Fr. bouteret, that which bears a thrust, from bouter, to push, cf. Eng. "butt" and "abutment"), masonry projecting from a wall, provided to give additional strength to the same, and also to resist the thrust of the roof or wall, especially when concentrated at any one point. In Roman architecture the plans of the building, where the vaults were of considerable span and the thrust ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 4 - "Bulgaria" to "Calgary" • Various

... and Terminal Railroad.—The two main tracks ascending through the Harrison Yard continue on an embankment to a point 500 ft. west of the west abutment of the bridge over the New York Division tracks, which is the point of beginning of the Pennsylvania Tunnel and Terminal Railroad. From this point the line extends in a general northeasterly direction, crossing the Hackensack River, skirting the ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. LXVIII, Sept. 1910 • E. B. Temple

... would pile it on his head, tie it with a string under his chin; then swim swiftly off to the first pier of the bridge. This was fully fifty yards out in the stream, and here Paul would sit on the abutment rocks until Sam's patience was worn out and he would depart. Then Paul would swim leisurely to the shore, dress himself ...
— The Story of Paul Boyton - Voyages on All the Great Rivers of the World • Paul Boyton

... sixth day Nancy sat up for a while during Miss Albers' hour and a half off. There was an abutment at one end of her room which overlooked the Whitman garden and carried the eye on down the hill until it rested on the factory in Whitmanville—the factory which made the garden possible for her. There was a letter in her lap from Tom. It had come with his roses and ...
— Tutors' Lane • Wilmarth Lewis

... snow-beds were too steep and slippery to venture an ascent upon them. Cutting steps with our ice-picks, and half-crawling, half-dragging ourselves, with the alpenstocks hooked into the rocks above, we scaled its height, and advanced to the next abutment. Now a cloud, as warm as exhausted steam, enveloped us in the midst of this ice and snow. When it cleared away, the sun was reflected with intenser brightness. Our faces were already smarting with blisters, and our dark glasses afforded but ...
— Across Asia on a Bicycle • Thomas Gaskell Allen and William Lewis Sachtleben

... The position of the stop with respect to the conical end is determined by a small adjusting screw shown in the figure. This arrangement of stop is identical in principle with that adopted by Messrs. Siemens Brothers in their "abutment pole" lamp, and is found to work very well in practice on the negative electrodes, but is inapplicable on the positive carbons on account of the higher temperature of the latter, which is liable to destroy the metallic stop by fusion, and it is for this reason that the positive carbon ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 315, January 14, 1882 • Various

... tell against the bridge more than anything else," Max remarked, as he pointed to where a tree was being pressed by the rush of the water, so that it kept striking against the abutment on the side toward Carson. "When a certain quantity of floating stuff begins to exert all its push against the bridge it'll have to go. We've got to keep our eyes open, boys, and be ready to skip out of here if we see ...
— Afloat on the Flood • Lawrence J. Leslie

... past motionless men peering out over the top of the wall, and on to a widening, where an abutment of filled bags loomed up darkly. Here the corporal cautiously climbed up breaks in the wall and stooped behind the fortification. Dorn followed. His legs did not feel natural. Something was lost out of them. Then he saw the little figure of Rogers beside him. Dorn's turn meant ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... the tower into its apse. But a close examination will shew that both these arches have undergone alteration.... I am inclined to believe that both these arches were reset and reduced in space after the fire, probably to increase their strength and that of their piers, on account of the loss of abutment, when the circular wall of the choir-apse was removed." The alterations that were made in these arches were probably not important, and did not extend beyond the re-modelling of the mouldings on the side of the arch towards the choir-aisle; ...
— The Cathedral Church of Canterbury [2nd ed.]. • Hartley Withers

... view was perfectly glorious. A massive cloud of pure pearl luster, apparently as fixed and calm as the meadows and groves in the shadow beneath it, was arched across the Valley from wall to wall, one end resting on the grand abutment of El Capitan, the other on Cathedral Rock. A little later, as I stood on the tremendous verge overlooking Mirror Lake, a flock of smaller clouds, white as snow, came from the north, trailing their downy skirts over the dark forests, and entered the Valley with solemn god-like gestures through ...
— The Yosemite • John Muir

... am forced to believe, are all that remain of London Bridge, for nowhere else along the river is there any other slightest sign of pier or abutment. ...
— The Lost Continent • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... and hoarse, to suit That hole of sorrow, o'er which ev'ry rock His firm abutment rears, then might the vein Of fancy rise full springing: but not mine Such measures, and with falt'ring awe I touch The mighty theme; for to describe the depth Of all the universe, is no emprize To jest with, and demands a tongue not us'd To infant babbling. But let them assist My ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... and it thus escaped capture. We, however, captured one captain and about a dozen men; also the cars of the train and considerable supplies, all of which we were obliged to destroy, save some choice, much-needed hams. These we loaded on a flat car, which we pushed about ten miles to the east abutment of the broken bridge. This raid caused great consternation at Chattanooga for several days. The detachment was reported as 5000 strong at Shellmound, and Leadbetter ordered "all bridges on the railroad ...
— Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2 • Joseph Warren Keifer

... eyes on Ralph. If he discovered anything further he said nothing, but bade the good fellow good-bye, jumped into his boat, and pulled down the tide. The moment Ralph was hidden by an abutment of the banks, Richard perused the address. For the first time it struck him that his cousin Clare was a very charming creature: he remembered the look of her eyes, and especially the last reproachful glance she gave him at parting. What business had Ralph to write to her? ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

Words linked to "Abutment" :   point, abutment arch

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