noun, verb (used with or without object)
- any rigid structural member projecting from a vertical support, especially one in which the projection is great in relation to the depth, so that the upper part is in tension and the lower part in compression.
- Building Trades, Civil Engineering. any rigid construction extending horizontally well beyond its vertical support, used as a structural element of a bridge (cantilever bridge), building foundation, etc.
- Aeronautics. a form of wing construction in which no external bracing is used.
- Architecture. a bracket for supporting a balcony, cornice, etc.
verb (used without object)
- to project in the manner of a cantilever.
verb (used with object)
- to construct in the manner of a cantilever.
- a beam, girder, or structural framework that is fixed at one end and is free at the other
- (as modifier)a cantilever wing
- a wing or tailplane of an aircraft that has no external bracing or support
- a part of a beam or a structure projecting outwards beyond its support
- (tr) to construct (a building member, beam, etc) so that it is fixed at one end only
- (intr) to project like a cantilever
1660s, probably from cant (n.2) + lever, but earliest form (c.1610) was cantlapper. First element also might be Spanish can “dog,” architect’s term for an end of timber jutting out of a wall, on which beams rested. Related: Cantilevered.
- A projecting structure, such as a beam, that is supported at one end and that carries a load at the other end or along its length. Cantilevers are important structures in the design of bridges and cranes.