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 One pillar of the group was Mr. Cornell, who was braving a commute that ranged from 30 minutes to over two hours through morning traffic and had spent weeks mulling a return to public transit. New York Times, 22 Oct. 2021 Bridge2 was a major manager of corporate awards programs, serving 1400 clients; now, that business is a pillar of Bakkt. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2021 Frazier was a pillar of Cleveland, and his impact was felt in multiple pockets. Cameron Fields, cleveland, 10 Oct. 2021 Throughout, Ruhl’s husband, Tony, is a pillar of strength and empathy. Washington Post, 1 Oct. 2021 Virtual coaching, access to online counseling and emergency in-person intervention can form one such program pillar. Gergo Vari, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 One central pillar of his approach to fighting crime has been the creation of the National Guard, a 100,000-strong federal security force deployed across some 180 regional barracks nationwide. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, 9 Aug. 2021 One pillar of Passus is a sophisticated made-to-order program that begins with an online consultation, guiding the customer through a wide range of models and specifications. Alexander Freeling, Robb Report, 25 May 2021 One pillar of professionalism was treating the practice of law as a science and not a mere skill. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 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, 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

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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Dictionary Entries Near pillar




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Statistics for pillar

Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pillar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pillar. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pillar



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

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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