AskDefine | Define squinch

Dictionary Definition

squinch n : a small arch built across the interior angle of two walls (usually to support a spire)

Verb

1 crouch down
2 draw back, as with fear or pain; "she flinched when they showed the slaughtering of the calf" [syn: flinch, funk, cringe, shrink, wince, recoil, quail]
3 partly close one's eyes; "The children squinted to frighten each other" [syn: squint, cross one's eyes]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. A structure constructed between two adjacent walls to aid in the transition from a polygonal to a circular structure; as when a dome is constructed on top of a square room.

Translations

structure between walls to transition to circular

Extensive Definition

A squinch in architecture is a piece of construction used for filling in the upper angles of a square room so as to form a proper base to receive an octagonal or spherical dome. It was the primitive solution of this problem, the perfected one being eventually provided by the pendentive. Squinches may be formed by masonry built out from the angle in corbelled courses, by filling the corner with a vise placed diagonally, or by building an arch or a number of corbelled arches diagonally across the corner.
In Islamic architecture, especially in Persia, where it may have been invented, the squinch took the form of a succession of corbelled stalactite-like structures known as muqarnas. It was also commonly used in the early churches of Europe and the East.
squinch in German: Trompe
squinch in Spanish: Trompa (arquitectura)
squinch in Persian: سکنج
squinch in Hebrew: קשת זווית
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