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1. A groundsill.
2. A horizontal heavy timber or reinforced concrete beam at or near ground level for distributing a load which it supports.
groundsill, ground beam, ground plate, mudsill, sole plate
In a framed structure, the sill which is nearest the ground or on the ground; used to distribute concentrated loads.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.