Pronunciation: (u-but'munt), [key]
1. Archit., Civ. Eng.
a. a masonry mass supporting and receiving the thrust of part of an arch or vault.
b. a force that serves to abut an arch or vault.
c. a mass, as of masonry, receiving the arch, beam, truss, etc., at each end of a bridge.
d. a mass or structure for resisting the pressure of water on a bridge, pier, or the like.
e. each of the parts of a canyon or the like receiving the thrusts of an arch dam.
f. a structure for absorbing tensions from reinforcing strands for concrete being prestressed.
2. the place where projecting parts meet; junction.
3. Dentistry.a tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.