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

Synonyms for tower

Synonyms: Noun

cathedral, edifice, hall, palace

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Examples of tower in a Sentence


a hill from which one can gaze upon the towers of that great and historic city

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Users can also explore the statue itself, as well as look inside the iron tower structure created by Gustav Eiffel. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "So This Explains Why Diane von Furstenberg Dressed as the Statue of Liberty for the 2019 Met Gala," 14 May 2019 And The Hound ran towards him and pushed them both off the tower to their fiery deaths. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Did The Hound Have to Die on 'Game of Thrones'?," 13 May 2019 Schumer is attached, via IV needle in her hand, to a tower of indistinguishable fluid. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Amy Schumer’s Post-Pregnancy Realness Is a Necessary Gift," 13 May 2019 But why is there no strut tower brace in the first place? Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "With the 2020 GR Supra, Toyota Gets In Touch With Its Fun Side," 12 May 2019 The Movie is a new Netflix film about a group of aspiring lifeguards who are competing for a prime beach tower on Malibu Beach. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About Netflix's "Malibu Rescue" Movie and Series," 9 May 2019 Water cascades off the rooftop pool deck down the tower via glass panels. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, "Is This the Most Beautiful Museum Gift Shop in the World?," 19 Apr. 2019 His namesake cathedral in the city is one of the only towers in Ireland that still allows visitors to climb to its top and take in the view from above. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "What to Pack for an Irish Getaway," 4 Mar. 2019 Boeing recently signed on to open an autonomous flight research center in one of the new towers. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As top innovation hub expands, can straining local infrastructure keep pace?," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

What was once an aggressive, fast-growing lender whose profits towered above those of rivals has become a firm with declining revenues that is leaning heavily on cost cuts. ... Rachel Louise Ensign, WSJ, "Wells Fargo, Stuck in ‘Wait and See Mode,’ Struggles to Boost Its Businesses," 9 Apr. 2019 Highlights: Stop at Muir Woods National Monument to hike through a forest of towering coast redwoods., "Detours worth taking on your next road trip," 20 May 2018 Setting: Just east of Hwy. 1, in a gently rising, 20-acre canyon of towering redwoods about a half-mile hike below the hilltop main resort. San Francisco Chronicle, "Suite Spot: Ventana Big Sur glamping," 16 May 2018 In less than 24 hours, learn to collect and purify fresh water and harvest wild lettuces, berries, and root vegetables to eat under the canopy of Northern California’s towering redwoods. Mackenzie Wagoner, Bon Appetit, "5 Healthy Trips for People Who Hate Wellness Retreats," 7 Jan. 2018 For example, in 2016 the towering, angular, anodized aluminum Sumida Hokusai Museum opened, featuring the work of famed Edo-era artist Katsushika Hokusai, who died in 1849. The Seattle Times, "From ancient to post-modern: Get art smart in Tokyo," 22 Oct. 2018 The Trumps towered over the monarch, who stands roughly 5-foot-3. Julie Hirschfeld Davis,, "In changing of tone, Trump heaps praise on May as ‘tough’ and ‘capable’," 13 July 2018 The haboob at times towered about a mile high and traveled nearly 200 miles, carving a path from the Arizona desert into southeastern California. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "Arizona monsoon 2018: July 11 dust storm in Phoenix was definitely epic, maybe historic," 12 July 2018 Some have been here long before Columbus landed in the Americas, and tower some 30 stories tall. CBS News, "Mapping the genome of redwoods," 1 July 2018

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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Statistics for tower

Last Updated

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for tower

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tower

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tower

Spanish Central: Translation of tower

Nglish: Translation of tower for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tower for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tower

Comments on tower

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


highly pertinent or appropriate

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