noun \ˈpi-lər\

: a large post that helps to hold up something (such as a roof)

: someone who is an important member of a group

: a basic fact, idea, or principle of something

Full Definition of PILLAR

a :  a firm upright support for a superstructure :  post
b :  a usually ornamental column or shaft; especially :  one standing alone for a monument
a :  a supporting, integral, or upstanding member or part <a pillar of society>
b :  a fundamental precept <the five pillars of Islam>
:  a solid mass of coal, rock, or ore left standing to support a mine roof
:  a body part that resembles a column
pil·lar·less adjective
from pillar to post
:  from one place or one predicament to another

Examples of PILLAR

  1. <the ancient Greek temple boasted graceful marble pillars with richly ornamented tops>
  2. <my father has been my pillar throughout this crisis>

Origin of PILLAR

Middle English piler, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin pilare, from Latin pila
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Building Terms

batten, cistern, hearth, lath, transom, wainscot



Definition of PILLAR

transitive verb
:  to provide or strengthen with or as if with pillars

First Known Use of PILLAR


Other Architecture Terms

buttress, casita, cornice, fanlight, garret, lintel, parapet, pilaster, plinth


noun \ˈpil-ər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PILLAR

: a body part likened to a pillar or column (as the margin of the external inguinal ring); specifically : pillar of the fauces


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Relatively slender isolated vertical structural member such as a pier or (usually squat) column. It may be constructed of a single piece of stone or wood or built up of units, such as bricks. A pillar commonly has a load-bearing or stabilizing function, but it may also stand alone, as do commemorative pillars.


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