AskDefine | Define pedestal

Dictionary Definition

pedestal

Noun

1 a support or foundation; "the base of the lamp" [syn: base, stand]
2 a position of great esteem (and supposed superiority); "they put him on a pedestal"
3 an architectural support or base (as for a column or statue) [syn: plinth, footstall]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

\Ped"es*tal\

Etymology

From piédestal, from piedistallo (pie "foot" di "of" stall "stand") "footstall".

Noun

  1. The base or foot of a column, statue, vase, lamp, or the like; the part on which an upright work stands. It consists of three parts, the base, the die or dado, and the cornice or surbase molding. See Illust. of .
    1. (Railroad Cars) A casting secured to the frame of a truck and forming a jaw for holding a journal box.
    2. (Mach.) A pillow block; a low housing.
    3. (Bridge Building) An iron socket, or support, for the foot of a brace at the end of a truss where it rests on a pier.
  2. Pedestal coil (steam Heating), a group of connected straight pipes arranged side by side and one above another, -- used in a radiator.

Derived terms

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Extensive Definition

Pedestal (from French piedestal, Italian piedistallo, foot of a stall) is a term generally applied to the support of a statue or a vase.
Although in Syria, Asia Minor and Tunisia the Romans occasionally raised the columns of their temples or propylaea on square pedestals, in Rome itself they were employed only to give greater importance to isolated columns, such as those of Trajan and Antoninus, or as a podium to the columns employed decoratively in the Roman triumphal arches.
The architects of the Italian revival, however, conceived the idea that no order was complete without a pedestal, and as the orders were by them employed to divide up and decorate a building in several stories, the cornice of the pedestal was carried through and formed the sills of their windows, or, in open arcades, round a court, the balustrade of the arcade. They also would seem to have considered that the height of the pedestal should correspond in its proportion with that of the column or pilaster it supported; thus in the church of Saint John Lateran, where the applied order is of considerable dimensions, the pedestal is 13 feet high instead of the ordinary height of 3 to 5 feet.

Types of pedestals

An elevated pedestal or plinth which bears a statue and which is raised from the substructure supporting it (typically roofs or corniches) is sometimes called an acropodium. The term is from the Greek akros or topmost + podos or foot.

References

pedestal in Catalan: Pedestal
pedestal in German: Postament
pedestal in Spanish: Pedestal
pedestal in French: Piédestal
pedestal in Italian: Piedistallo
pedestal in Dutch: Sokkel
pedestal in Russian: Пьедестал
pedestal in Swedish: Postament

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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