A buttress that stands apart from the roof that it supports. It is usually connected to the main supporting wall by arches. This was a critical component of the tall, window-filled walls of Gothic churches and cathedrals.
Related term(s): Gothic
Contributor(s): Natalie Kohout
Source information: Hollister, C. Warren and Judith M. Bennett. Medieval History: A Short History. 9th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002.