py·​lon | \ˈpī-ˌlän, -lən\

Definition of pylon 

1a : a usually massive gateway

b : an ancient Egyptian gateway building in a truncated pyramidal form

c : a monumental mass flanking an entranceway or an approach to a bridge

2a chiefly British : a tower for supporting either end of usually a number of wires over a long span

b : any of various towerlike structures

3a : a post or tower marking a prescribed course of flight for an airplane

b : traffic cone

c : one of the flexible upright markers positioned on a football field at the corners of the end zone

4 : a rigid structure on the outside of an aircraft for supporting something (such as an engine or missile) — see airplane illustration

Illustration of pylon

Illustration of pylon

pylon 1b

Examples of pylon in a Sentence

The bridge is supported by concrete pylons. a row of electricity pylons

Recent Examples on the Web

The segment that failed had been placed atop the pylon’s footing, and the taller tower section was to be installed later. Washington Post, "Documents: Major design change changed bridge cost, schedule," 21 Mar. 2018 The segment that failed had been placed atop the pylon’s footing, and the taller tower section was to be installed later. Fox News, "Key design change stymied cost, schedule of bridge in deadly Florida collapse," 20 Mar. 2018 That meant catching a crossing route between two Broncos, shrugging off safety Justin Simmons, veering left, stopping as suddenly as a 265-pound armored tank possibly can, watching safety Will Parks fly by and then diving just short of the pylon. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Rookie tight end Will Dissly brings the ‘cool’ in Seahawks’ season opener," 9 Sep. 2018 Making his first overtake on the race course as the two aircraft passed the start/finish pylon prompted Findlay to name his airplane One Moment in honor of that fleeting instant. Eric Tegler, Ars Technica, "400mph, 50 feet up—what it takes to race and win world’s fastest motorsport," 30 Aug. 2018 When a serious incident does occur on the water, such as when a ferry struck a pylon in November 2017 or when a helicopter crashed in the East River in March, both the NYPD and the U.S. Coast Guard will respond. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Avast, Ye Criminals! NYPD Harbor Unit Has Increased Role as Waterways Boom," 1 Oct. 2018 These tubes, either raised on pylons or sunk beneath the earth, could be built either within or between cities. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "SpaceX’s hyperloop race was all about ‘maximum speed’ (and celebrating Elon Musk)," 28 July 2018 Another perfect pass arced in, this time right at the pylon, just ahead of the collision point between Smith, Waynes and safety Harrison Smith desperately closing over the top. Conor Orr,, "Nick Foles and the Eagles Achieved Something Spectacular—Downing the NFL's No. 1 Defense," 21 Jan. 2018 The ball went up, a back-shoulder fade toward the front pylon. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke working to create 'two-headed monster'," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pylon.' 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 pylon

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for pylon

Greek pylōn, from pylē gate

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pylon antenna



Statistics for pylon

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for pylon

The first known use of pylon was in 1817

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English Language Learners Definition of pylon

: a tall tower or similar structure

: a tall, metal structure that is part of a series of structures supporting a long stretch of electrical wire

American football : one of the upright markers that are positioned at the corners of the end zone


py·​lon | \ˈpī-ˌlän, -lən \

Medical Definition of pylon 

: a simple temporary artificial leg

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pylon

Spanish Central: Translation of pylon

Nglish: Translation of pylon for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pylon

Comments on pylon

What made you want to look up pylon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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