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flying buttress

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Definition an arch or half-arch that transfers thrust from an upper part of a wall to a lower support
  • At that time, the English used the flying buttress more elegantly.
  • Starkly out of place in a town of square-faced stores and steep-roofed houses, the Maycomb jail was a miniature Gothic joke one cell wide and two cells high, complete with tiny battlements and flying buttresses.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • flying buttresses = arches or half arches that transfer weight from an upper part of a wall to a lower support
  • Reinforced by those flying buttresses, the house rose five levels, light and airy.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • It's got all these turrets and flying buttresses and stuff.
    Meg Cabot  --  The Princess Diaries
  • He did not bore his readers with the technicalities of the Five Orders, the post and lintel, the flying buttress or reinforced concrete.
    Ayn Rand  --  The Fountainhead
  • All at once, a hundred torches, the light of which glittered upon the helmets of men at arms, spread over the church at all heights, on the towers, on the galleries, on the flying buttresses.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • On the afternoon of May 15, when the blizzard finally abated, I returned to the southeast face and climbed to the top of a slender ridge that abuts the upper peak like a flying buttress on a Gothic cathedral.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • The building itself was not much larger than an Old Earth cathedral, but it seemed gigantic with its effect of flying buttresses in search of a church, twisted upper stories, and support walls of stained glass.
    Dan Simmons  --  Hyperion
  • After the food arrived—Asian fusion, with lots of crispy flying buttresses of wonton and frizzled scallion, from his expression not much to his liking—I waited for him to work 'around to whatever he wanted to tell me.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • For his drawing class, in which he is required to make half a dozen sketches every week, he is inspired to draw the details of buildings: flying buttresses, pointed archways filled with flowing tracery, thick rounded doorways, squat columns of pale pink stone.
    Jhumpa Lahiri  --  The Namesake
  • The tables of a small restaurant spilled onto the paving stones, and on the opposite side rose the Gothic towers and flying buttresses of Senlis Cathedral.
    Daniel Silva  --  The Black Widow
  • I stared into the darkness of the mock flying buttresses for some reassuring glimpse of the Announcing Angel; but Harold Crosby was invisible—he was hidden, doubtless in fear and trembling, above the "pillar of light."
    John Irving  --  A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • At the moment when his thought was thus fixed upon the priest, while the daybreak was whitening the flying buttresses, he perceived on the highest story of Notre-Dame, at the angle formed by the external balustrade as it makes the turn of the chancel, a figure walking.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • I was aware that Barb Wiggin had cranked Harold Crosby up so high that he was completely gone from view; up in the dark dust, up in the gloom inspired by the mock flying buttresses, Harold Crosby, who was still probably facing the wrong way, was flapping like a stranded bat—but I couldn't see him.
    John Irving  --  A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • When, at the turn of the gallery which opens on the roof of the side aisles, he perceived the tiny cell with its little window and its little door crouching beneath a great flying buttress like a bird's nest under a branch, the poor man's heart failed him, and he leaned against a pillar to keep from falling.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • At Notre-Dame it was a tiny cell situated on the roof of the side aisle, beneath the flying buttresses, precisely at the spot where the wife of the present janitor of the towers has made for herself a garden, which is to the hanging gardens of Babylon what a lettuce is to a palm-tree, what a porter's wife is to a Semiramis.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Harold Crosby, who thought both his God and Barb Wiggin had abandoned him forever, swung like the victim of a vigilante killing among the mock flying buttresses; Dan, an accomplished mechanic of all theatrical equipment, eventually mastered the angel-lowering apparatus and returned the banished angel to terra firma, where Harold collapsed in relief and gratitude.
    John Irving  --  A Prayer for Owen Meany
  • Behind the Bastille there were twenty hovels clustered round the curious sculptures of the Croix-Faubin and the flying buttresses of the Abbey of SaintAntoine des Champs; then Popincourt, lost amid wheat fields; then la Courtille, a merry village of wine-shops; the hamlet of Saint-Laurent with its church whose bell tower, from afar, seemed to add itself to the pointed towers of the Porte SaintMartin; the Faubourg Saint-Denis, with the vast enclosure of Saint-Ladre; beyond the...
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • What harm does it do if a poor girl takes shelter under the flying buttresses of NotreDame, beside the swallows' nests?"
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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