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

New apartment projects downtown — the largest being the 777 Main tower — average 95 percent occupancy, with most in the 90s. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Pearl Street apartments riding latest wave of new rentals in downtown Hartford," 16 June 2019 Belcourt is also the site of Algiers’ Martyrs Memorial, a concrete tower with three soaring strands on a peak overlooking the bay. James Mcauley, Washington Post, "In the footsteps of Camus: Looking for traces of Algeria’s estranged son," 5 July 2019 If it were piled atop the football field at Broncos Stadium at Mile High — end zones included — the result would be a massive dirt tower rising 797 feet. Jon Murray, The Denver Post, "Denver’s Interstate 70 project is producing a whole lot of dirt," 5 July 2019 Next to the base was a telecommunication tower, shiny and new, also encircled by crude fencing. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "The Government Cut Their Internet. Will Abuses Now Remain Hidden?," 2 July 2019 Using their powers to appeal zoning decisions free of charge, neighborhood associations like those in the Pearl District or Old Town have tried to stop construction of office and condominium towers with varied success., "Emotions flare as Portland, long friendly to neighborhoods, weighs gutting their powers," 2 July 2019 Those businesses are the Wells Fargo tower, the Phoenix Municipal Building, the Maricopa County Administrative Building and the Phoenix Convention Center South Hall. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Power likely restored by Wednesday night to most buildings hit by downtown Phoenix outage," 2 July 2019 One Dalton is a pencil tower, common in New York but the first of its kind here. Robert Campbell,, "One Dalton, Boston’s commanding new skyscraper, conjures architectural magic," 29 June 2019 The main attraction is a tower reached by climbing a lattice of ropes, which frustrated parents have complained entraps any child who is not a Marine recruit. Joe Soucheray, Twin Cities, "Soucheray: A plan for 2040? How ’bout let’s start with 2019," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After his first — a towering shot off the right field foul pole in the fourth inning — Harold Castro tripled, standing on third base with no outs, but the Tigers could not drive him in. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers lose to Red Sox again after another long rain delay, 10-6," 7 July 2019 The players will take aim at the downtown ballpark’s towering left-field bleachers, which Mark McGwire cleared with a mammoth blast in 1997 that dented a giant Budweiser billboard. Tom Withers, The Denver Post, "$wing away: MLB All-Star Home Run Derby offers $1 million prize," 7 July 2019 According to the Evening Standard, Llorente is now set to leave the club as a free agent at the end of what has been an incredible season for the towering forward., "Fernando Llorente Set to Leave Tottenham This Summer as Contract Winds Down," 5 June 2019 The shoes had just enough of a heel to give some lift, without being too towering for a day spent on the water. Vogue, "This Is How Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Do Vacation Style," 25 Mar. 2019 Widely known for the petrified remains of its once towering ancient trees, the spires now stand guard across the river valleys and plains and have long captured the imagination of travelers to this planet. Marjie Lambert, miamiherald, "A new name in Star Wars lore: village at Galaxy's Edge, home to rogues and smugglers | Miami Herald," 27 May 2018 The Beecher pick, at this hour, is reminiscent of then-GM Peter Chiarelli using Boston’s first pick in 2008 on towering forward Joe Colborne. Kevin Paul Dupont,, "For Bruins, it’s wait and see with John Beecher," 22 June 2019 Jim Wilson/The New York Times While growing up, Julia Mathis imagined having a fancy wedding with a huge crowd, a string of bridesmaids and a towering cake. Louise Rafkin, New York Times, "A Fairy-Tale Ending in Its Own Time," 21 June 2019 Photos of that display show the flowers towering along an incline on both sides of the escalators and goldfinches gathering in them. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, "‘Please don’t kill the sunflowers’: The Phantom Planter says Metro destroyed more than 100 sunflowers at the Dupont Circle station," 19 June 2019

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

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

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