A cantilever is a girder or beam that supports a bridge or another large structure. Cantilevers are attached only at one end, like a rigid diving board.

Structures that stick out sideways from a vertical support are cantilevers (hold your arm straight out from your body and it becomes a kind of cantilever). Engineers construct bridges using cantilevers, balancing them with counterweights or reinforcing them with girders and trusses. Cantilever bridges were originally called cantlapper bridges—from cant, or "slope," eventually combined with lever, from the Latin levare, "to raise."

Definitions of cantilever
  1. noun
    projecting horizontal beam fixed at one end only
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    type of:
    long thick piece of wood or metal or concrete, etc., used in construction
  2. verb
    construct with girders and beams such that only one end is fixed
    “Frank Lloyd Wright liked to cantilever his buildings”
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    type of:
    build, construct, make
    make by combining materials and parts
  3. verb
    project as a cantilever
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    type of:
    jut, jut out, project, protrude, stick out
    extend out or project in space
Word Family
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