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

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 9 Dec. 2022.

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
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