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

Now almost 30 years old, the Hubble Space Telescope captured the Pillars of Creation—vast gas-and-dust towers in a nebula about 7,000 light years away, where new stars are being formed. WSJ, "Leaps for Humankind," 22 Feb. 2019 At 953 feet, the 79-story tower stands out along the Central Park South skyline. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "Ken Griffin's $238-Million NYC Penthouse Is the Most Expensive Home in America," 30 Jan. 2019 There, the family took in the city’s skyline using the tower’s binoculars. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Princess Charlene of Monaco Took Her Royal Twins on a Whirlwind Trip to New York," 18 Jan. 2019 On top of the song though, Ari dropped another vid, featuring her besties, wigs for days, and champagne towers. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Every Easter Egg You Missed in Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Music Video," 18 Jan. 2019 The industry's solutions to mmWave's problems are more towers everywhere and significantly more complicated devices with tons of antennas. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "AT&T 5G goes live this week with ridiculously overpowered hotspot," 20 Dec. 2018 These are some serious putative penitentes, too: Some fields could feature towers up to 50 feet (15 m) tall, spaced about 23 feet (7 m) apart, the scientists found. Mike Wall,, "Jupiter Moon Europa's Jagged Ice Towers Could Imperil Robot Landers," 8 Oct. 2018 The entire tower costs just $80, which is cheaper than the price of some solo slow cookers. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Amazon Has a MAJOR Sale on This Crazy Popular 3-in-1 Crock Pot Today," 17 July 2018 At this moment, the work depicts an aerial view of the power plant, concentric circles of tile-like mirrors with a tower at its center that, all together, resembles an ancient, slate-gray sundial of sorts. Deborah Vankin,, "LACMA debuts its 'Solar Reserve,' a digital sculpture addressing energy conservation," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And that brings us back to Isaac, the Magic’s towering second-year forward. Josh Robbins,, "Five takeaways from the Magic’s summer league opener," 7 July 2018 Cardboard cartons towered in sagging, listing piles. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Trump vs. the “Deep State”," 14 May 2018 American beech trees comprise an integral component of North American forests, towering more than 80 feet tall with a distinctive smooth, gray bark. James F. Mccarty,, "Newly discovered microscopic worm species eyed as potential cause of beech leaf disease," 3 May 2018 At a towering 7’2″, Abdul-Jabbar still holds the record as the leading point scorer in basketball. Dave Quinn,, "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Falls Ill with a Stomach Bug on Big Dancing with the Stars Day," 14 Apr. 2018 Shown in a black venue her black clothes were enlightened by towering white wigs (à la Marie Antoinette) and slashes of skin that were visible through the geometric cuts of the garments. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 2019 As the attendance grew over the years, so did the man, towering as high as 105 feet. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 La Dame de Pic soars in a dining room of towering ceilings, caramel booths, and mirrored columns designed by French architects Bruno Moinard and Claire Bétailleare. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Find London’s Hidden French Side," 7 Jan. 2019 Inland, the Maya Mountains jumble under towering clouds, giants dreaming on their backs. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 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

9 Mar 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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