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

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 Out of the seven Republicans running in Tuesday's primary, the two leading candidates -- Jennifer-Ruth Green and Blair Milo -- are both veteran women who are making economic progress the central pillar of their campaigns. Rick Klein, ABC News, 29 Apr. 2022 For its part, Sweden has safeguarded neutrality as a central pillar of its foreign policy for 200 years. Ian Bremmer, Time, 23 Apr. 2022 Under the first point of action, one central pillar of the administration's strategy is expanding the use of naloxone. Katharina Buchholz, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 But stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, even to treaty allies, has always been a central pillar of U.S. strategy. WSJ, 31 Mar. 2022 The fallout is now complicating Mr. Biden’s push to make electric vehicles a central pillar of his climate change agenda. New York Times, 21 Nov. 2021 Heading into his first NBA season, coach Jamahl Mosley has set defense as the central pillar of his team’s style of play. orlandosentinel.com, 11 Oct. 2021 Biden had made the rebuilding and strengthening of alliances, particularly in Europe, a central pillar of his foreign policy, in a deliberate contrast to former President Donald Trump. Nicole Gaouette, CNN, 4 Oct. 2021 But while the Democratic Party may have plenty of corrupt figures inside it, corruption is not a central pillar of its functioning. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 4 Oct. 2021 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, 15 Dec. 2019 The recovery initiative is pillared by a breeding program and habitat safeguards. Helena Amante, Smithsonian, 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, 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, 5 Oct. 2018 The former governor of California took the oak in the marble pillared chambers of the Supreme Court. Sacbee, sacbee.com, 19 May 2017 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near pillar




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Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pillar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillar. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pillar


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

More from Merriam-Webster on pillar

Nglish: Translation of pillar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pillar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pillar


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