spire

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
: a slender tapering blade or stalk (as of grass)
2
: the upper tapering part of something (such 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

Illustration of spire
  • S spire 3a

spire

2 of 4

verb (1)

spired; spiring

intransitive verb

: to rise like a spire

spire

3 of 4

noun (2)

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

spire

4 of 4

verb (2)

spired; spiring

intransitive verb

: to rise in or as if in a spiral

Examples of spire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
First grown commercially in the Provence region of southern France, its waving purple spires still grace the hillsides and perfume the surrounding air during its exuberant late-spring bloom. Lee Somerville, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 May 2024 As nightfall fell upon Europe, images were already surfacing on social media of towns and countries on mainland Europe, such as Austria and Italy, being alight with bright pink spires rising high above the horizon. Shaun Goodwin, Idaho Statesman, 10 May 2024 Along the solar horizon, towering spires of gas known as spicules stretch up to about 6,214 miles (10,000 kilometers) from the Sun’s chromosphere. George Dvorsky / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 May 2024 Last year, beneath Churchill Downs’s iconic twin spires, seven horses died during the week of the showpiece event — two of them in races in the hours leading up to the Derby. Melissa Hoppert, New York Times, 2 May 2024 On the stillest nights, at nine o'clock, Major Anderson could hear the great bells in the distant witch-cap spire of St. Michael's Church, bastion of Charleston society where planters displayed rank by purchasing pews. CBS News, 26 Apr. 2024 The disaster caused no casualties, but the Exchange’s signature central spire was reduced to rubble, reports Jan M. Olsen of the Associated Press (AP). Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Apr. 2024 Workers are repairing its spires and broken windows. Claire Harbage, NPR, 4 Apr. 2024 Pinnacles is known for its namesake rock spires, wildflowers and wildlife, particularly California condors. USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spire.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English spīr; akin to Middle Dutch spier blade of grass

Noun (2)

Latin spira coil, from Greek speira; perhaps akin to Greek sparton rope, esparto

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1591, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spire was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near spire

Cite this Entry

“Spire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spire. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

spire

noun
ˈspī(ə)r
1
: a blade or stalk (as of grass) that gradually becomes thinner and narrower near the top
2
: a sharp pointed tip (as of a tree or antler)
3
a
: a pointed roof especially of a tower
b
spired
ˈspī(ə)rd
adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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