tow·​er | \ ˈtau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce tower (audio) \

Definition of tower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a building or structure typically higher than its diameter and high relative to its surroundings that may stand apart (such as a campanile) or be attached (such as a church belfry) to a larger structure and that may be fully walled in or of skeleton framework (such as an observation or transmission tower)
2 : a towering citadel : fortress
3 : one that provides support or protection : bulwark a tower of strength
4 : a personal computer case that stands in an upright position


towered; towering; towers

Definition of tower (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to reach or rise to a great height
2 : to exhibit superior qualities : surpass her intellect towered over the others'

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Other Words from tower


towered \ ˈtau̇(-​ə)rd How to pronounce tower (audio) \ adjective
towerlike \ ˈtau̇(-​ə)r-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tower (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for tower

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of tower in a Sentence

Noun a hill from which one can gaze upon the towers of that great and historic city
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The tower façade rising over Flora is its most active feature, staggered at a slight angle and given definition by inset balconies. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, 10 June 2021 Cole’s crumbling ancient castle tower atop a ruined Roman aqueduct conjures the decadence of empire. Los Angeles Times, 8 June 2021 The Billionaires’ Row mega-tower currently holds the record for the priciest sale in the U.S. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, 7 June 2021 Traditionally there were two lifeguards per tower at beaches, Fisher said., 6 June 2021 Albuquerque International Sunport had received reports from an air traffic control tower that a passenger on the plane had attempted to breach the cabin, according to airport spokeswoman Stephanie Kitts. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 5 June 2021 Good tower speakers under $200 are hard to come by, with one notable exception. Star Tribune, 4 June 2021 There are two basic tower types: guyed and freestanding. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 3 June 2021 Through cell tower data, investigators confirmed Silva was at the Hebron home at the time of the murders. Meredith Colias-pete,, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Opponents of the plan had also claimed the project — which is next to White Rock Creek — will tower over the lake. Steve Brown, Dallas News, 10 June 2021 Lift boats have three or four legs, which tower above a boat that’s moving and can be lowered to the bottom to raise the vessel as a temporary offshore platform. NBC News, 19 May 2021 The financial viability of teams remains tethered to their male counterparts, which can vary wildly; clubs like Manchester City, whose owners are backed by the wealth of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, tower over others. Shafi Musaddique, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 May 2021 Everything in the room looks proportional to Carter's small stature, but both Bidens tower over the furniture and the former presidential couple. Lydia Wang,, 5 May 2021 Commercial fishermen have expressed concerns about offshore windmills in the Gulf of Maine, which would tower nearly 600 feet above the water line. Christian Wade, Washington Examiner, 24 Mar. 2021 The barrier resembles a fortress, with massive floodgates, a concrete bridge and light poles that tower over the riverbed. azcentral, 15 Apr. 2021 But experts on land use, climate change, and sustainable agriculture told me that two habits tower above all others in terms of environmental impact. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, 6 Apr. 2021 Critics say the new 365-foot condo — seven times the height allowed on private property — would tower over beachfront land that’s now home to a small park and community center less than a mile south of Hollywood Boulevard. Susannah Bryan,, 2 Apr. 2021

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tower


Middle English tour, tor, from Old English torr & Anglo-French tur, tour, both from Latin turris, from Greek tyrris, tyrsis

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Time Traveler for tower

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tower

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tower



English Language Learners Definition of tower

: a tall, narrow building or structure that may stand apart from or be attached to another building or structure
: a tall piece of furniture used to store something
computers : a personal computer that stands in an upright position


tow·​er | \ ˈtau̇-ər How to pronounce tower (audio) \

Kids Definition of tower

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a building or structure that is higher than its length or width, is higher than most of what surrounds it, and may stand by itself or be attached to a larger structure


towered; towering

Kids Definition of tower (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reach or rise to a great height


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