pillar

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pillar,

freestanding columnar supporting member. It is a general term, little used as an exact architectural definition except as applied to an upright support in the medieval styles, consisting of an assemblage of juxtaposed shafts and moldings; unlike the column, it does not adhere to the rules of the orders of architectureorders of architecture.
In classical tyles of architecture the various columnar types fall, in general, into the five so-called classical orders, which are named Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite.
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Pillar

A column or post supporting an arch or other superimposed load. Clustered or compound pillars consist of a central shaft with smaller shafts that are grouped around it.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pillar

 

part of a bed or seam of a mineral that is left untouched when working a deposit in order to support the roof and protect mine excavations and surface structures.

Based on their purposes various types of pillars are distin guished: protective pillars (between levels, above and below drifts, between chambers), which protect objects during mining operations; fire safety pillars, which separate individual parts of the mine field from one another and help contain the fire, should it begin, within small areas; barrier pillars, which prevent surface or subterranean waters, gases, or loose silt from an excavation or unused mine from entering working mines; and support pillars, which prevent the rocks of the roof of the seam or ore body from caving in into an excavated area. The pillar size depends on the mining-geological conditions and the purpose of the pillar and is built according to standard guidelines.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

pillar

[′pil·ər]
(civil engineering)
A column for supporting part of a structure.
(geology)
A natural formation shaped like a pillar.
A joint block produced by columnar jointing.
(mining engineering)
An area of coal or ore left to support the overlying strata or hanging wall in a mine.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pillar

pillar: Perpendicular style
A column, pier, pilaster, or post that is capable of providing major vertical support.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pillar

1. an upright structure of stone, brick, metal, etc., that supports a superstructure or is used for ornamentation
2. a tall, slender, usually sheer rock column, forming a separate top
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005