AskDefine | Define abutment

Dictionary Definition



1 point of contact between two objects or parts
2 a masonry support that touches and directly receives thrust or pressure of an arch or bridge

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ə'bʌtmənt/


  1. especially of an object The state of abutting.
  2. Something that abuts.
  3. The thing on which something abuts.
  4. The point of junction between them.
  5. A construction that supports the end of a bridge.


state of abutting

Extensive Definition

An abutment is an end support of a bridge superstructure. Abutments are used for the following purposes:
  • to transmit the reaction of superstructure to the foundations.
  • to retain the earth filling.
  • to connect the superstructure to the approach roads.
An abutment is also, generally, the point where two structures or objects meet.
Specifically, an abutment may be:
  • the part of a structure that supports an arch.
  • the tooth or teeth that support a fixed or removable bridge.
  • the part of an implant that acts as an connection between the implant and the crown.
Abutment is also a term used by civil engineers in dam construction; moving water from a large reservoir to a channel such as a spillway, there are smooth transition walls at both sides named abutments which minimize the water's energy loss.
Abutment is also the term for a titanium connection used to attach prosthetics to a dental implant that is Osseointegrated.
abutment in German: Widerlager
abutment in Esperanto: Abutmento
abutment in French: Culée
abutment in Norwegian: Landkar
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