Pier. 1. A solid masonry support, as distinct from a column. 2. The solid mass between doors, widows and other openings in buildings. 3. A name frequently given to Romanesque and Gothic pillars varying from a square to a composite section.

-- John Fleming, Hugh Honour & Nikolaus Pevsner, 1991
The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture
Penguin Books, London, England

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