Etymology
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buttress (n.)

early 14c., "structure built against a wall to give it stability," from Old French (arc) botrez "flying buttress," apparently from bouter, boter "to thrust against," a word of Frankish origin (compare Old Norse bauta "to strike, beat"), from Proto-Germanic *butan, from PIE root *bhau- "to strike." Figurative sense "any source of support" is from mid-15c.

buttress (v.)

late 14c., literal and figurative, from buttress (n.). Related: Buttressed; buttressing.

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Definitions of buttress
1
buttress (v.)
reinforce with a buttress;
buttress (v.)
make stronger or defensible;
buttress your thesis
2
buttress (n.)
a support usually of stone or brick; supports the wall of a building;
Synonyms: buttressing
From wordnet.princeton.edu