Column or pillar in airchitectur an structural ingineerin is a structural element that transmits, through compression, the wicht o the structur above tae ither structural elements belaw. In ither wirds, a column is a compression member. The term column applies especially tae a lairge roond support wi a caipital an base an made o stane, or appearin tae be so. A smaa widden or metal support is typically cried a post, an supports wi a rectangular or ither non-roond section are uisually cried piers. For the purpose o wind or yirdquauk ingineerin, columns mey be designed tae resist lateral forces. Ither compression members are eften termed "columns" acause o the similar stress condeetions. Columns are frequently uised tae support beams or airches on which the upper pairts o waws or ceilings rest. In airchitectur, "column" refers tae such a structural element that an aa haes certain proportional an decorative featurs. A column micht an aa be a decorative element nae needit for structural purposes; mony columns are "engaged", that is tae say furm pairt o a waw.