• WordNet 3.6
    • n baluster one of a number of closely spaced supports for a railing
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Baluster (Arch) A small column or pilaster, used as a support to the rail of an open parapet, to guard the side of a staircase, or the front of a gallery. See Balustrade.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n baluster In architecture and building, a small upright member made in a great variety of forms, but typically strongly swelled outward at some point between the base and the top or capital, and commonly vase- or urn-shaped, used in series to support the rail of a railing or balustrade. The baluster, as distinguished from a small column serving the same purpose, originated in the architecture of the Renaissance. Now often called banister.
    • n baluster In architecture, the lateral part of the volute of the Ionic capital. Also bolster.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Baluster bal′ust-ėr a small pillar used as a support to the rail of a staircase, &c
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. balustre, It. balaustro, fr. L. balaustium, the flower of the wild pomegranate, fr. Gr. balay`stion; -- so named from the similarity of form.]
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. balustre—Low L. balaustium—Gr. balaustion, the flower of the pomegranate; from the similarity of form.


In literature:

Hearing no sound, he ventured to penetrate the darkness, felt for the knob of the baluster, found it and went up one floor.
"The Blonde Lady" by Maurice Leblanc
She saw the staircase, now; a rough, wooden structure of unplaned boards, and no balusters.
"Patty's Success" by Carolyn Wells
The rail that terminates the foot of the balcony, in which the balusters step, if there be no pedestal rail.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
The heavy oak balusters had been painted white, so had the panelling in the hall.
"Vixen, Volume III." by M. E. Braddon
The front door opened to a wide hall and stairway, with carved baluster and polished mahogany rail.
"Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times" by Charles Carleton Coffin
It faces across its red-tiled, white-balustered terraces and vivid lawns, a sharp river valley that strolls winding amid the mountains.
"Westward with the Prince of Wales" by W. Douglas Newton
Slowly, blindly, with one hand grasping the balusters, she went up the broad staircase to her own room.
"Daisy Brooks" by Laura Jean Libbey
June had opened the door and was calling over the balusters to Lydia for hot water.
"The Phantom Lover" by Ruby M. Ayres
His hand came in contact with the baluster, and he quickly ascended the rickety stairs.
"The Fifth of November" by Charles S. Bentley
At the height of the face of a kneeling figure is a row of small balusters.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson

In news:

The decking includes deck boards, top and bottom rails, balusters, posts, stair treads and fascia.
Will close baluster errors, design your railings at the same time you The dimensions of the railings can affect where you fasten them.
The Almond-colored railing offers a choice of square or colonial balusters, while the darker Clay color comes in square only.
Pre-drilled rails increase the speed of installation by taking the guesswork out of baluster spacing.
A carpenter will charge $275 to remove a metal railing and replace it with a 5-foot-long, 32-inch-high prefinished oak railing and balusters on the second-floor landing of a house.