Terminologies in Civil Engineering

Terminologies in Civil Engineering

The dictionary of civil engineers is made with the intent of creating a ready to use a collection of the terms used in this branch of engineering. It takes into account almost all the terms that are used as a part and parcel of the subject. The description of each tern is kept simple by using lucid and clear language. The explanation is also supported by examples and pictures to provide the readers with an enriching and healthy learning experience.

Civil Engineering is a branch of engineering that embraces expert practices that work towards creating, maintaining, and operating social, commercial, and industrial infrastructure that sustains modern society. Such infrastructure includes all building construction, road, railways, canals, airports, harbors, docks, water supply, drainage, flood and erosion control, bridges, tunnels pipe lines dams, irrigation system, electricity generation, and industrial facilities.

This branch of engineering uses mathematics, physics, and the properties of materials to provide cost-effective solutions to building problems. this is brought about by combining the standard and best available expertise, labor, and materials, keeping in mind the time, cost, hazards, and social responsibility.

Historically, military engineers were responsible for the design and construction of roads, fortification, bridges, and the destruction of enemy facilities by tunneling and explosives. Eventually, this expertise entered the civilian domain, thereby becoming the profession of a civil engineer, which nowadays becomes competitive and quite sought after profession.

Following are terminologies in Civil Engineering that are commonly used in structural, traffic and other domains of Civil Engineering:


Movable screen. Movable slat. Skylight or different means of admitting light into a building and deflecting the light downward.

Abney Level
The hand-held level is used in surveying to determine elevations and slope angles.

Substructure unit supporting the ends of a bridge and usually, retaining the approach embankment.

An admixture which, when added to concrete, mortar or grout, increases the rate of hydration of the hydraulic cement, shortens the time of set, and increases the rate of hardening or strength development.

Acid Brick
Chemical-resistant brick made from hard burned shale is often used as flooring in areas where chemical spills are likely to occur.

Acoustic Reactance
Resistance to the passage of sound through a medium, either solid, liquid, or gas. It is caused by the internal and elastic properties of the medium, which allows it to absorb the sound.

Acoustical Ceiling Coating Rough
decorative coating, sometimes called popcorn because of its appearance. The coating is sprayed on to the acoustical board to aid in the reduction of reflected sound. Acoustical ceiling coating applied over drywall has less sound damping properties, but required less drywall preparation than other textures, offering both times, labor and cost savings.

Adiabatic Curing
The maintenance of ambient conditions during the setting and hardening of concrete so that heat is neither lost nor gained from the surroundings of the concrete.

Adiabatic curing
The maintenance of ambient conditions during the setting and hardening of concrete so that heat is neither lost nor gained from the surroundings of the concrete.

The mechanism, which mixes air into water, soil, sewage, etc. Alternately, the part on the end of a sink spout which mixes air with the water to reduce splattering.

The mixture in a pressurized container, which has small particles of solid or liquid, suspended in gas and is dispensed through a special nozzle that atomizes it into a spray.

An instrument for drilling holes in rocks, stone or masonry

Air Brick
Hollow bricks, which are open at both ends and used to permit air to pass through a wall and are placed at different locations as air vents.

Air-Entrained Concrete
Concrete that has been altered chemically, with an additive, to disperse air bubbles through the mix. A yard of air-entrained concrete may contain over three trillion bubbles. This mix is easier to work than standard concrete and stands up well in cold weather, resisting salts better than other contouring in cold weather because the bubbles allow the concrete to expand and contract more readily, it is not as strong as regular concrete.

Pathway through sections of a building or room, such as between sections of seats in a theater.

Any fastener (usually metal) used to attach parts, such as joists, posts, etc., to masonry materials.

The property of some materials, such as wood, exhibiting different strengths in different directions.

A form of scour protection consisting of timber, concrete, rip-rap, paving, or other construction placed adjacent to abutments and piers to prevent undermining.

A regular that controls the operating temperature of the hot water distribution system in boilers and water heaters.

A molding, attached to one of a pair of swinging doors, against which the other door strikes.

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