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Glossary of Civil Engineering Terms
beginning with letter C
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cable Tweet Definition of cable Like Definition of cable on Facebook
noun
  1. A strong, large-diameter wire or rope, or something resembling such a rope.
  2. An assembly of two or more wires which are used for electrical power or data circuits; one or more may be insulated.
  1. (nautical) A heavy rope or chain used to moor or anchor a ship
  2. (communications) A system for receiving television or Internet service over coaxial or fibreoptic cables
    I tried to watch the movie last night but my cable was out.
    1. A telegram
    2. (finance) in financial markets 'cable' is used to refer to the currency pair Great British Pounds against United States Dollars
  3. (nautical) A unit of length
verbto cable
  1. To send a telegram
  2. To wrap wires to form a cable
caisson Tweet Definition of caisson Like Definition of caisson on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, caisson (engineering))
  1. an enclosure, from which water can be expelled, in order to give access to underwater areas for engineering works etc
  2. the gate across the entrance to a dry dock
  3. (nautical) a floating tank that can be submerged, attached to an underwater object and then pumped out to lift the object by buoyancy; a camel
  4. a two-wheeled, horse-drawn military vehicle used to carry ammunition (and a coffin at funerals); a large box to hold ammunition
  5. in architecture, a variant of coffer
cascade Tweet Definition of cascade Like Definition of cascade on Facebook
noun
  1. A waterfall or series of small waterfalls
Now murm'ring soft, now roaring in . -Cawper
  1. (figuratively) A stream or sequence of a thing or things occurring as if falling like a cascade.
The rise in serotonin levels sets off a of chemical events — Richard M. Restak, The Secret Life of the Brain, Joseph Henry Press, 2001
  1. A series of electrical components, the output of any one being connected to the input of the next; See also daisy chain
verb (cascad, ing)
  1. (intransitive) To fall as a waterfall or series of small waterfalls.
  2. To occur as a causal sequence.
  3. (archaic) (slang) To vomit.
casing Tweet Definition of casing Like Definition of casing on Facebook
noun
  1. That which encloses or encases.
Some people like to split the of a sausage before cooking so it doesn't split, others don't.
verb
  1. (present participle of, case)
catchment Tweet Definition of catchment Like Definition of catchment on Facebook
noun
  1. Any structure or land feature which catches and holds water.
causeway Tweet Definition of causeway Like Definition of causeway on Facebook
noun
  1. A road that is raised, as to be above water, marshland etc.
chamber Tweet Definition of chamber Like Definition of chamber on Facebook
noun
  1. A room, especially one used primarily for sleeping; bedroom, sleeping room.
    • 1845, w:Edgar Allen Poe, Edgar Allen Poe, s:The Raven, The Raven,
    • : Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
      Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
      While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
      As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my door.
      1. An enclosed space. For example, a test chamber is typically a closable case where devices under test are placed.
      2. In a firearm, this is the portion of the weapon that holds the ammunition round immediately prior to (and during initiation of) its discharge.
      Dianne loaded a cartridge into the of the rifle, then prepared to take aim at the target.
      1. One of the legislative bodies in a government where multiple such bodies exist, or a single such body in comparison to others.
      The resolution, which speedily passed the Senate, was unable to gain a majority in the lower .
verb
  1. To enclose in a room.
She had chambered herself in her room, and wouldn't come out.
  1. To place in a chamber, as a round of ammunition.
The hunter fired at the geese and missed, then shrugged his shoulders and chambered another cartridge.
  1. To create or modify a gun to be a specific caliber.
The rifle was originally chambered for 9MM, but had since been modified for a larger, wildcat caliber.
chess Tweet Definition of chess Like Definition of chess on Facebook
noun
  1. A two-player boardgame played with a board of eight rows of eight squares of alternating colours and 16 pieces for each player: eight pawns, two knights, two rooks, two bishops, a queen and a king; the aim is to get the opponent's king in a position on the board such that it cannot avoid being captured (the state known as checkmate).
clinometer Tweet Definition of clinometer Like Definition of clinometer on Facebook
noun
  1. An apparatus for measuring a vertical angle, a slope, or the height of a large object (e.g. a tree).
cofferdam Tweet Definition of cofferdam Like Definition of cofferdam on Facebook
noun
  1. a temporary watertight structure that is pumped dry to enclose an area underwater and allow construction work on a ship, bridge, or rig to be carried out; a caisson
  1. (nautical) an empty space that acts as a protective barrier between two floors or bulkheads on a ship.
complete Tweet Definition of complete Like Definition of complete on Facebook
verb (complet, ing)
  1. (transitive) To finish; to make done; to reach the end.
He completed the assignment on time.
  1. (transitive) To make whole or entire.
The last chapter completes the book nicely.
adjective
  1. With everything included.
It was a shock when he turned up on my doorstep.
  1. (analysis) In which every Cauchy sequence converges; equivalently (in certain cases), in which every set with a lower bound has a greatest lower bound
contour Tweet Definition of contour Like Definition of contour on Facebook
noun
  1. A curved shape.
The shapely of a woman's buttocks.
  1. A line on a map or chart delineating those points which have the same altitude or other plotted quantity: a contour line or isopleth.
corduroy Tweet Definition of corduroy Like Definition of corduroy on Facebook
noun
  1. A heavy fabric, usually made of cotton, with vertical ribs.
crib Tweet Definition of crib Like Definition of crib on Facebook
noun
  1. A baby"s bed (British and Australasian cot) with high, often slatted, often moveable sides, suitable for a child who has outgrown a cradle or bassinet.
1889In two minutes I was kneeling by the child"s , and Sandy was dispatching servants here, there, and everywhere, all over the palace. I took in the situation almost at a glance -- membranous croup! " Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur"s Court.
  1. A bed for a child older than a baby.
1848a day or two afterwards I learned that Miss Temple, on returning to her own room at dawn, had found me laid in the little ; my face against Helen Burns"s shoulder, my arms round her neck. I was asleep, and Helen was -- dead. " Charlotte Bronte, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=110893069&textreg=2&query=crib&id=BroJanI Jane Eyre.
  1. (nautical) A small sleeping berth in a packet ship or other small vessel
  2. A wicker basket; c.f. Moses basket.
  3. The baby Jesus and the manger in a creche or Nativity scene, consisting of statues of Mary, Joseph and various other characters such as the magi.
  4. A manger, a feeding trough for animals elevated off the earth or floor, especially one for fodder such as hay.
  5. A bin for drying or storing grain, as with a corn crib.
1835...I began to think of my horse. He, however, like an old campaigner, had taken good care of himself. I found him paying assiduous attention to the of Indian corn, and dexterously drawing forth and munching the ears that protruded between the bars. " Washington Irving, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=373857131&textreg=2&query=crib&id=IrvTour A Tour on the Prairies, Chapter 35.
  1. A small room, especially one of rough construction, used for storage or penning animals.
  2. A small, covered structure for confining animals.
1871A kitchen, a meat-house, a dairy, a with two stalls in the rear, one for the horse the other for the cow, were the out-buildings. " Richard Malcolm Johnston, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=surround&offset=381034272&tag=EAF618&query=crib&id=eaf618 Dukesborough Tales.
  1. A stall for large domestic animals.
(RQ:AV)Where no oxen are, the is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. " Proverbs 14:4 KJV
  1. A confined space, as with a cage or office-cubicle
1846The singers were in a crib of wirework (like a large meat- safe or bird-cage) in one corner " Charles Dickens, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=surround&offset=269586873&tag=Dickens,+Charles,+1812-1870:+Pictures+from+Italy,+1846&query=crib&id=DicPict Pictures from Italy.
  1. A job, a position; (British), an appointment.
1904 He had seen so many lean years of faithful service when the enemy held the corner on all the official cribs that, now in the days of his party"s fatness and of his own righteous reward, the habit of good, honest hustling stuck to him, and he lined up an array of pulls and indorsements that made him swell with happiness every time he went over the list. "Some folks have to die before they can get that sort of thing," he would say as he tapped the bundle of indorsements. Forrest Crissey, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=surround&offset=183688407&tag=Crissey,+Forrest:+Tattlings+of+a+Retired+Politician,+1904&query=crib&id=CriTatt Tattlings of a Retired Politician.
1893...but if I have lost my and get nothing in exchange I shall feel what a soft Johnny I have been. " Arthur Conan Doyle, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=surround&offset=279553798&tag=Doyle,+Arthur+Conan:+The+Adventure+of+the+Stockbroker's+Clerk,+1893&query=crib&id=DoyStoc? "The Adventure of the Stockbroker"s Clerk".
  1. A hovel, a roughly constructed building best suited to the shelter of animals but used for human habitation.
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature"s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush"d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull"d with sound of sweetest melody? " Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 2, Act 3, Scene 1
  1. A hovel or additional room off a hovel, or set of such rooms, used for prostitution.
1905In Los Angeles I saw what was called the "Cribs", one of the most disgraceful conditions. No one stayed there during the day; they were there just for the night only. These poor degraded girls would pay two dollars a night to the owners. " Carry Nation, The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=501910564&textreg=2&query=crib&id=NatUsea Chapter 16.
  1. (slang) One"s residence, or where one normally hangs out.
  2. A boxy structure traditionally built of heavy wooden timbers, to support an existing structure from below, as with a mineshaft or a building being raised off its foundation in preparation for being moved; see cribbing.
  3. (italbrac, usually plural) A collection of quotes or references for use in speaking, for for assembling a written document, or as an aid to a project of some sort; a crib sheet.
These cribs are taken from a Google on "foobar".
  1. (rare) The licit or illicit use of a pony or cheat sheet when taking a test; when illicit, a form of academic dishonesty, and even plagiarism.
1917At school and at college Richard was, to say the least, an indifferent student. And what made this undeniable fact so annoying, particularly to his teachers, was that morally he stood so very high. To "," to lie, or in any way to cheat or to do any unworthy act was, I believe, quite beyond his understanding. " Richard Harding Davis, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=188547597&textreg=2&query=crib&id=DavAdve Adventures and Letters of Richard Harding Davis.
  1. (obsolete) A minor theft, extortion or embezzlement, with or without criminal intent.
  2. (context, Cribbage): Short for the card game cribbage.
1913"May we play , Mrs. Radford?" he asked. " D.H. Lawrence, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=surround&offset=427640224&tag=Lawrence,+D.+H.:+Sons+and+Lovers,+1913&query=crib&id=LawSons Sons and Lovers.
  1. (context, Cribbage): The cards discarded by players and used by the dealer.
1814"And that makes thirty-one; -- four in hand and eight in . -- You are to deal, ma"am; shall I deal for you?" " Jane Austen, Mansfield Parkhttp://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=79203748&textreg=2&query=crib&id=AusMans Chapter 2.1.
  1. (italbrac, cryptanalysis) A known piece of information corresponding to a section of encrypted text, that is then used to work out the remaining sections.<!--This is not an example of the usage of the word:
Eg, during WW2, British cryptanalysts knew that many German messages contained the term "Heil Hitler", and were able to use this pattern to help work out the day"s encryption codes.-->
  1. (NZ, southern) A small holiday home, often near a beach and of simple construction.
verb (cribb, ing)
(
transitive and intransitive)
  1. To place or confine in a crib.
zeugma, Zeugmatically, she cribbed the baby and then the corn.
  1. To collect one or more passages and/or references for use in a speech, written document or as an aid for some task; to create a crib sheet.
I cribbed the recipe from the Food Network site, but made a few changes of my own.
  1. To install timber supports, as with cribbing.
  2. To cram for a particular subject from notes.
  3. (obsolete) To steal or embezzle, to cheat out of: petty thieving.
It was very easy, Briggs said, to make a galley-slave of a boy all the half-year, and then score him up idle; and to crib two dinners a-week out of his board, and then score him up greedy; but that wasn"t going to be submitted to, he believed, was it? " Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, 1848, http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/ot2www-pubeng?specfile=/texts/english/modeng/publicsearch/modengpub.o2w&act=text&offset=260418472&textreg=2&query=crib&id=DicDomb Chapter 14.
  1. (rare) To engage in academic dishonesty by the illicit use of a pony or cheat sheet; plagiarism.
  2. (rare) (intransitive) To complain about something.
  3. (phrasal verb) To be cabined and cribbed and confined; to be caged, hemmed in, confined.
But now I am cabin"d, cribb"d, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo"s safe? " Shakespeare, Macbeth'', Act 3, Scene 4.
crossover Tweet Definition of crossover Like Definition of crossover on Facebook
noun
  1. A place where one thing cross, crosses over another.
  2. The means by which the crossing is made.
  3. (w:genetics, genetics) the result of the exchange of genetic material during meiosis.
  4. A blend of multiple style, styles of music, intended to appeal to a wider audience.
  5. An automobile that is a mix of two kinds of automobiles, i.e. the w:Pontiac_Torrent, Pontiac Torrent.
  6. (railroading) A pair of switches and a short, diagonal length of track which together connect two parallel tracks and allow passage between them.
crosswalk Tweet Definition of crosswalk Like Definition of crosswalk on Facebook
noun
  1. Place where pedestrians can cross a street.
crown Tweet Definition of crown Like Definition of crown on Facebook
noun
  1. A reward of victory or a mark of honor.
  2. A royal, imperial or princely headdress; a diadem.
  3. A representation of such a headdress, as in heraldry; it may even be that only the image exists, no physical crown, as in the case of the kingdom of Belgium; by analogy such crowns can be awarded to moral persons that don't even have a head, as the mural crown for cities in heraldry
  4. A wreath or band for the head.
  5. Imperial or regal power.
  6. The topmost part of the head.
  7. The highest part a hill.
  8. The top part of a hat.
  9. The raised centre of a road.
  10. The highest part of an arch.
  11. Splendor, finish, culmination.
achievement
  1. Any currency (originally) issued by the crown (regal power) and often bearing a crown (headdress)
  2. Specifically, a former British coin worth five shillings.
    1. (botany) The part of a plant where the root and stem meet.
  3. (anatomy) The part of a tooth above the gums.
  4. (dentistry) A prothestic covering for a tooth.
  5. (nautical) A knot formed in the end of a rope by tucking in the strands to prevent them from unravelling
  6. (nautical) The part of an anchor where the arms and the shank meet
verb
  1. To place a crown on the head of.
  2. To formally declare (someone) a king or emperor.
  3. To declare (someone) a winner.
  4. (medicine) Of a baby, during the birthing process; for the surface of the baby's head to appear in the vaginal opening.
The mother was in the second stage of labor and the fetus had just crowned, prompting a round of encouragement from the midwives.
  1. (context, gaming) To shoot an opponent in the back of the head with a shotgun in a first-person shooter video game.
  2. (context, board games) In checkers, to stack two checkers to indicate that the piece has become a king.
"Crown me!" I said, as I moved my checker to the back row.
adjective
  1. Of, related to, or pertaining to a crown.
prince
  1. Of, related to, pertaining to the top of a tree or trees.
a fire
culvert Tweet Definition of culvert Like Definition of culvert on Facebook
noun
  1. A channel for the draining of water; transverse drain.
curb Tweet Definition of curb Like Definition of curb on Facebook
noun
  1. A row of concrete along the edge of a road.
  2. A raised margin along the edge of something, as a strengthening.
  3. Something that checks or restrains.
  4. A riding or driving bit for a horse that has rein action that amplifies the pressure in the mouth by leverage advantage placing pressure on the poll via the crown piece of the bridle and the chin groove via a curb chain.
verb (curbs, curbing, curbed)
  1. (transitive) To check, restrain or control.
  2. (transitive) To rein in.
  3. (transitive) To furnish with a curb.
curbstone Tweet Definition of curbstone Like Definition of curbstone on Facebook
noun
  1. (alternative spelling of, kerbstone)
cutwater Tweet Definition of cutwater Like Definition of cutwater on Facebook
noun
  1. (nautical) The forward curve of the stem of a ship
  2. the wedge of a bridge pier, that resists the flow of water and ice.
  3. a black skimmer; a sea bird of Rhynchops niger species, that flies low over the sea, "cutting" the water surface with its lower mandible to catch small fish.

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