noun (1)
\ ˈspī(-ə)r How to pronounce spire (audio) \

Definition of spire

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a slender tapering blade or stalk (as of grass)
2 : the upper tapering part of something (such as a tree or antler) : pinnacle
3a : a tapering roof or analogous pyramidal construction surmounting a tower
b : steeple a church spire


verb (1)
spired; spiring

Definition of spire (Entry 2 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to rise like a spire


noun (2)

Definition of spire (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : 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


verb (2)
spired; spiring

Definition of spire (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to rise in or as if in a spiral

Illustration of spire

Illustration of spire

Noun (1)

S spire 3a

In the meaning defined above

First Known Use of spire

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

History and Etymology for spire

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

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Time Traveler for spire

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

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Cite this Entry

“Spire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spire. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for spire


\ ˈspīr How to pronounce spire (audio) \

Kids Definition of spire

1 : a pointed roof especially of a tower
2 : steeple


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