pillar


pillar
pillar, column, pilaster denote a structure that rises high from a base or foundation, is slender in comparison with its width, and usually has a monolithic and decorative appearance.
Pillar is the general term and applies to any such structure whether it stands alone
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an obelisk is a kind of pillar

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or is a supporting architectural member of a building or similar structure
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the building was a spacious theater, half round on two main pillars vaulted high— Milton

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In extended use pillar usually applies to something which stays or supports
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the four pillars of government . . . religion, justice, counsel, treasure— Bacon

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{

the Classics have . . . lost their place as a pillar of the social and political system— T. S. Eliot

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but when the application is to persons the term usually suggests the character of one who supports, though it may also imply leadership or prominence
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he is a pillar of the church

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{

the middlemen ... the pillars of society, the cornerstone of convention— Lewis & Maude

}
Column in architectural use primarily applies to a supporting pillar that is often cylindrical and free at every point except its bottom and top. The term commonly also implies three more or less elaborate parts, the base, by which it is attached to the floor, the shaft, often a fluted or channeled cylinder which rises high from the base, and the capital, the uppermost member which crowns the shaft and takes the weight or its share of the weight of what rests on it
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a portico sup-ported by a line of columns

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But column is also applicable to a monument or memorial fashioned in the manner of an architectural column
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the most conspicuous object in the whole churchyard, a broken column of white marble, on a pedestal— Mary Fitt

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By extension the term is also applicable to something that suggests a column especially in shape
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the wind sent columns of smoke into the tenement— N. Y. Times

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or in use or structure
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the spinal column

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Sometimes the suggestion is remote and the term is applied to anything that is long and relatively narrow
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the columns of a newspaper page

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{

a column of figures

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{

a column of infantry

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Pilaster, though used with reference to a supporting member of a piece of furniture, is chiefly employed with reference to an architectural member which in function is a pier (see pier under BUTTRESS) but which in design and treatment resembles a column. In this latter sense pilaster implies engagement or attachment to a wall and suggests a rectangular rather than cylindrical form.

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PILLAR — (Heb. עַמּוּד; from the root ʿmd, to stand ), a column that stands perpendicular to the ground and generally serves to support the beams of a roof. In this article no distinction will be made between pillar, column, and post. The pillar is used… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Pillar — Пиллар Основная информация …   Википедия

  • Pillar — Pil lar, n. [OE. pilerF. pilier, LL. pilare, pilarium, pilarius, fr. L. pila a pillar. See {Pile} a heap.] 1. The general and popular term for a firm, upright, insulated support for a superstructure; a pier, column, or post; also, a column or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pillar — steht für Pillar, eine bestimmte Ausführung der Litfaßsäule Geografisches Pillar (Lake District), Berg in England Rock and Pillar Range, Bruchschollengebirge in Neuseeland weiteres Pillar (Band), Band Pillar Car Protector, Kfz Schutzvorrichtung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • pillar — ► NOUN 1) a tall vertical structure used as a support for a building or as an ornament. 2) a person or thing providing reliable support. ● from pillar to post Cf. ↑from pillar to post DERIVATIVES pillared adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • Pillar — Pil lar, a. (Mach.) Having a support in the form of a pillar, instead of legs; as, a pillar drill. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pillar I — pillar I, pillar II, pillar III See Basel II. American Banker Glossary …   Financial and business terms

  • pillar II — pillar I, pillar II, pillar III See Basel II. American Banker Glossary …   Financial and business terms

  • pillar — (n.) early 13c., from O.Fr. piler, from M.L. pilare, from L. pila pillar, stone barrier. Figurative sense of prop or support of an institution or community is first recorded early 14c. Phrase pillar to post is c.1600, originally of tennis, exact… …   Etymology dictionary

  • pillar — [pil′ər] n. [ME piler < OFr < VL * pilare < L pila, column] 1. a long, slender, vertical structure used to support a superstructure; column 2. such a column standing alone as a monument 3. anything like a pillar in form or function, as a …   English World dictionary


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