pil·​lar | \ ˈpi-lər How to pronounce pillar (audio) \

Definition of pillar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a firm upright support for a superstructure : post entry 1
b : a usually ornamental column or shaft especially : one standing alone for a monument
2a : a supporting, integral, or upstanding member or part a pillar of society
b : a fundamental precept the five pillars of Islam
3 : a solid mass of coal, rock, or ore left standing to support a mine roof
4 : a body part that resembles a column
from pillar to post
: from one place or one predicament to another


pillared; pillaring; pillars

Definition of pillar (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to provide or strengthen with or as if with pillars

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Other Words from pillar


pillarless adjective

Synonyms for pillar

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of pillar in a Sentence

Noun the ancient Greek temple boasted graceful marble pillars with richly ornamented tops my father has been my pillar throughout this crisis
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Along with keeping kosher and Shabbat, adherence to the laws of family purity is considered a pillar of observant Jewish life. Josefin Dolsten, sun-sentinel.com, "Some queer Jews are finding meaning in the laws of family purity, traditionally observed by married Orthodox couples," 21 Oct. 2020 Lewis hit the pillar, which shredded the car's passenger side, and crashed into two vehicles parked under I-10, police said. Michelle Hunter | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Driver critically wounded in fiery Kenner crash has died of his injuries," 20 Oct. 2020 But a pillar of roster building is acquiring players who best help a team win their division. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "What’s next for the Cleveland Browns? Previewing the Cincinnati Bengals and how they match up," 19 Oct. 2020 Thailand’s royal family has long been considered sacrosanct and a pillar of Thai identity. Grant Peck And Chris Blake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Emergency declared in Bangkok after protesters heckle royal motorcade," 15 Oct. 2020 Tallboy, then, unexpectedly blew in place, sending up a spectacular pillar of water. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Oops! Watch This WWII Bomb Explode While Divers Attempt to Defuse It," 14 Oct. 2020 That leaves the third pillar of Abenomics, structural reform, as Suga’s best line of attack for reshaping economic policy. Yoshiaki Nohara, Bloomberg.com, "Suga Sets Sights on Structural Reforms for Debt-Ridden Japan," 15 Sep. 2020 During the first two years of his career, Nelson has been a pillar, playing and starting in 34 consecutive games (including the postseason). Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts All Pro guard Quenton Nelson misses practice with back injury," 10 Sep. 2020 Free speech is a pillar of a free society, and the best way to collectively seek and defend the truth. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Hell no! Top conservatives fight ‘ignorant mob’ erasing American history, police, and flag," 9 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The tall windows, pillared facade, rooftop balustrade, and 90-foot-high rotunda of the main building give it the look of a chateau. Adam Hochschild, The Atlantic, "The Fight to Decolonize the Museum," 15 Dec. 2019 The recovery initiative is pillared by a breeding program and habitat safeguards. Helena Amante, Smithsonian, "How the Iberian Lynx Bounced Back From the Brink of Extinction," 8 Oct. 2019 The team started working on the research which initially began in 2014 with the Staghorn coral, but then the focus shifted to pillar coral because of a disease that has been devastating to the Florida Reef Tract. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "A scientific breakthrough at the Florida Aquarium could save America's 'Great Barrier Reef'," 21 Aug. 2019 All six of the new Yuletide scents start at just $2 and come in various sizes from tiny tea lights and votive lights to pillar candles and large jars. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "The 2018 Yankee Candle Christmas Scents Have Arrived and We Are So Ready," 5 Oct. 2018 The former governor of California took the oak in the marble pillared chambers of the Supreme Court. Sacbee, sacbee.com, "Warren sworn in as U.S. chief justice," 19 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pillar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pillar


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1787, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pillar


Middle English piler, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin pilare, from Latin pila

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Time Traveler for pillar

Time Traveler

The first known use of pillar was in the 13th century

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Statistics for pillar

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pillar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillar. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for pillar


How to pronounce pillar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pillar

: 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


pil·​lar | \ ˈpi-lər How to pronounce pillar (audio) \

Kids Definition of pillar

1 : a large post that supports something (as a roof)
2 : a single column built as a monument
3 : a supporting or important member or part He was a pillar of society.
4 : something that resembles a column in shape pillars of smoke


pil·​lar | \ ˈpil-ər How to pronounce pillar (audio) \

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

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