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semicircular arch
A. keystone
B. voussoirs
C. springers
D. imposts


One of the wedge-shaped stones forming the curved parts of an arch or vaulted ceiling.

[French, from Old French vossoir, from Vulgar Latin *volsōrium, from *volsus, past participle of Latin volvere, to turn, roll; see wel- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Architecture) a wedge-shaped stone or brick that is used with others to construct an arch or vault
[C18: from French, from Vulgar Latin volsōrium (unattested), ultimately from Latin volvere to turn, roll]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



any of the pieces in the shape of a truncated wedge that form an arch or vault.
[1325–75; < French; replacing Middle English vousor(i)e < Anglo-French; Old French volsoir < Vulgar Latin *volsōrium=*volt(us) (for Latin volūtus), past participle of volvere to turn + -tōrium -tory2]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.voussoir - wedge-shaped stone building block used in constructing an arch or vault
arch - (architecture) a masonry construction (usually curved) for spanning an opening and supporting the weight above it
building block - a block of material used in construction work
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
12(a)) when the topography for working face advancing position corresponds to the valley while main roof moves in a mode of "voussoir beam" (Fig.
Add thin wedges of stone as needed so that each arch stone (called a voussoir) fits snugly into the structure.
The KS in a caved zone will collapse after mining while that in a fractured zone will bear the overlying load with the voussoir beam structure (VBS).
[9] revealed the alternated regularity of the interval and strength of weighting by using the combined mechanics models of voussoir beam and cantilever beam, and they pointed out that the premature rupture of the key strata and the step subsidence would result in the weighting of the alternated regularity of strong (weak) periodically.
established mechanical structure models of "short voussoir beam" and "step beam" of main roof, providing the basic method of supporting design for shallow coal seam working face [6].
According to the equilibrium conditions and a voussoir beam theory [13], [Q.sub.0], [M.sub.0], Q', and N are given as follows:
True arches (also called voussoir arches) are created with wedge-shaped bricks or stones on either side of a keystone at the top middle.
Ju and Xu [15] analysed the strata behaviour during the operation of great mining height, studying the structural characteristics of key strata (cantilever beam and/or voussoir beam) as well as the movement law.
For example, detached roof block method [6, 7], yielding foundation model [8], design of powered support selection model [9], ground response curves [10], "Roof -support-floor" system model [11], and Voussoir beam theory [12].
However, past field observations have indicated that the main roof may continue to hang in the form of a voussoir beam and only collapse into the caved zone after the working face has been advanced further.
Local natural stone has been used to face the bridge and the arch "voussoir" stones have been re-used from the nearby Elland Bridge, which was damaged at the same time and reopened earlier this year.