Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A rail and the row of balusters or posts that support it, as along the front of a gallery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A row of balusters topped by a rail, serving as an open parapet, as along the edge of a balcony, terrace, bridge, staircase, or the eaves of a building.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A row of balusters topped by a rail, serving as an open parapet, as along the edge of a balcony, terrace, bridge, or the eaves of a building, or as a guard railing on a staircase; -- it serves as a guard to prevent people from falling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In architecture, strictly, a barrier or railing consisting of a horizontal member resting on a series of balusters; but, commonly, an ornamental railing or pierced parapet of any kind, whether serving as a barrier or merely as a decorative feature, and whether composed of balusters or not.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a railing at the side of a staircase or balcony to prevent people from falling

Etymologies

French, from Italian balaustrata, from balaustro, baluster; see baluster.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French balustrade, from Italian balaustrata ("with balusters"), from balaustro ("baluster"), from balausta ("wild pomegranate flower"), via Latin balaustium, from Ancient Greek βαλαύστιον (balaustion), from Semitic (compare Aramaic balatz 'wild pomegranate flower'). So named because of resemblance to the swelling form of the half-open pomegranate flower. Also see baluster. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The two-storey Casa Griesen with its balustrade is closer to Avenida Juarez.

    Chihuahua City, Pancho Villa and Parral de Hidalgo

  • The swinging balustrade is transmitted through their arm directly into into the inner ear.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Felix Page's _left_ side had been toward the balustrade at the instant Fluette snatched up the candle-stick; on the balustrade was a deep indentation where the base of the improvised weapon had impinged, after glancing; and the fatal blow had struck upon the victim's _right_ temple.

    The Paternoster Ruby

  • “Titianus F.,” on the stone balustrade, which is one of the most Giorgionesque elements of the portrait, is disquieting, and most probably a later addition.

    The Earlier Work of Titian

  • The sprite in the centre of the balustrade is the most winsome of the company.

    Correggio A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The Painter With Introduction And Interpretation

  • The one with the rug on the balustrade was the most distant; next to it was the empty bungalow; the nearest, with the flower-beds at the foot of its veranda, contained that bothersome girl, who had managed so provokingly to keep herself invisible.

    Victory

  • The roofs are peculiar, being in the form of well-constructed semicircular arches, all of mud, and in many cases the tops of the outside walls are adorned by a kind of balustrade of open brickwork.

    Peeps at Many Lands: Egypt

  • The druggist, as a man of science and advanced ideas, had replaced his bow-window with plate-glass, had put a cornice over it, had stuccoed his bricks, and had erected a kind of balustrade of stucco, so as to hide as much as possible the attic windows, which looked over, meekly protesting.

    Catharine Furze

  • In a pretty high place, which lies very open, they have surrounded a circumference of two or three hundred paces diameter with a sorry kind of balustrade, or rather with postes placed upon stakes but three feet from the ground; and the coaches drive round this.

    Diary of Samuel Pepys — Complete

  • The famous Master of the Ring was clad in honour of the occasion in a most resplendent scarlet coat worked in gold at the buttonholes, a white stock, a looped hat with a broad black band, buff knee-breeches, white silk stockings, and paste buckles -- a costume which did justice to his magnificent figure, and especially to those famous "balustrade" calves which had helped him to be the finest runner and jumper as well as the most formidable pugilist in England.

    Rodney stone

Comments

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  • Ornamental parapet of posts and railings.

    August 24, 2008


  • MISS GIDDENS
    That can't be true? Not ten minutes ago I saw - I thought I saw - a man.
    (She moves towards the tower's balustrade)
    He was standing exactly here.

    MILES
    (rising and joining her at the balustrade)
    Perhaps it was me.

    May 19, 2008

  • And I am nothing of a builder
    But here I dreamt I was an architect
    And I built this balustrade
    To keep you home, to keep you safe
    From the outside world

    December 2, 2006