noun, Architecture.
a segmental arch transmitting an outward and downward thrust to a solid buttress that through its inertia transforms the thrust into a vertical one.
a buttress supporting a wall or other structure by an arch or part of an arch that transmits the thrust outwards and downwards Also called arc-boutant

An external, arched support for the wall of a church or other building. Flying buttresses were used in many Gothic cathedrals; they enabled builders to put up very tall but comparatively thin stone walls, so that much of the wall space could be filled with stained-glass windows. The cathedrals of Chartres and Notre Dame de Paris were built with flying buttresses.


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