spire


1spire

noun \ˈspī(-ə)r\

Definition of SPIRE

1
:  a slender tapering blade or stalk (as of grass)
2
:  the upper tapering part of something (as a tree or antler) :  pinnacle
3
a :  a tapering roof or analogous pyramidal construction surmounting a tower
b :  steeple <a church spire>

Illustration of SPIRE

Origin of SPIRE

Middle English, from Old English spīr; akin to Middle Dutch spier blade of grass
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Architecture Terms

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

2spire

intransitive verb
spiredspir·ing

Definition of SPIRE

:  to rise like a spire

First Known Use of SPIRE

14th century

Rhymes with SPIRE

3spire

noun

Definition of SPIRE

1
a :  spiral
b :  coil
2
:  the inner or upper part of a spiral gastropod shell consisting of all the whorls except the whorl in contact with the body

Origin of SPIRE

Latin spira coil, from Greek speira; perhaps akin to Greek sparton rope, esparto
First Known Use: 1545

4spire

intransitive verb
spiredspir·ing

Definition of SPIRE

:  to rise in or as if in a spiral

First Known Use of SPIRE

1591

spire

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Steeply pointed termination to a tower or roof. In Gothic architecture, the spire is a spectacular visual culmination of the building as well as a symbol of heavenly aspiration. The church spire originated in the 12th century as a simple, four-sided pyramidal roof capping a tower. Methods used to integrate an octagonal spire with a square tower below include broaches (sloping triangular sections of masonry added to the bottom of the four spire faces not coinciding with the tower sides), gabled dormers added to spire faces, and steep pinnacles (vertical ornaments of pyramidal or conical shape) added to tower corners. During the Decorated period (14th century) in England, a slender needle spire set in from the edge of the tower was popular; corner pinnacles and a low parapet around the tower's edge became customary. In the 20th century, architects tended to limit spires to rather elementary geometric shapes.

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