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1. In masonry, a projection or one of a series of projections, each stepped progressively outward with increasing height, and usually projecting from a wall or chimney; serves as a support for an overhanging member or course, 1 above, or as a purely decorative element.
2. A projecting stone that supports a superincumbent weight.
3. A heavy bracket, often decorated, that is set into an adobe wall to act as a bearing surface to support a roof beam.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.