Definition of entasis in English:


Pronunciation /ˈen(t)əsəs/ /ˈɛn(t)əsəs/


  • A slight convex curve in the shaft of a column, introduced to correct the visual illusion of concavity produced by a straight shaft.

    ‘The pillars of the exterior exhibit batter (lean slightly inward) and entasis (slight convex curvature near the middle).’
    • ‘The entasis of this skyscraper, like that of a Doric column, leads to a new kind of propositional beauty, one worked out digitally.’
    • ‘Not only does this polysemy make it an enigmatic signifier, but the computer-perfected entasis makes it a good example of propositional beauty - the central planned skyscraper with elegant double curves shooting to the sky.’
    • ‘This taper - the term for it is entasis - infuses the column with vitality.’
    • ‘I have to use this entasis, because if you let the edges go straight, the frontal plane of the painting will shoot out at the corners.’


Mid 17th century modern Latin, from Greek, from enteinein ‘to stretch or strain’.