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

Larger turbines mean fewer towers are needed to generate the same amount of electricity, decreasing projects’ costs and the size of their footprint. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "Giant Turbines Propel Boom in Wind Energy," 5 Aug. 2019 Moving among rows of aeroponic growing towers the pickers plucked leafy greens, herbs and edible flowers like Genovese basil and red Russian kale, washed them and packed them in coolers. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Denver urban farming trend grows from a Sloan’s Lake condo tower to a Larimer Square parking garage," 4 Aug. 2019 The City Council also unanimously approved a 37-story apartment and office tower at the site of the former downtown San Diego courthouse. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: San Diego makes big moves to ease affordable housing shortage," 4 Aug. 2019 The 25-year-old lighting poles in the archery range will be replaced with vapor-proof LED and high-mast tower lighting at all six courses. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Usery Mountain Regional Park archery range to close for 2 months for upgrades," 2 Aug. 2019 Residential towers have sprouted around Central Park, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens, among other areas. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "Plan for Supertall Tower Looming Over Lower East Side Is Halted, for Now," 2 Aug. 2019 Posbury Clump is not quite as imposing as some of these other volcanoes; Whakaari, for instance, towers more than 1,000 feet tall and is active. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Would You Like to Buy an Extinct Volcano?," 2 Aug. 2019 Developers Stream Realty Partners, Ryan Cos and Kairoi Residential are working on other tower projects nearby. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Austin developer plans Uptown Dallas tower," 1 Aug. 2019 Anduril also secured a $13.5-million contract with the U.S. Marine Corps to provide autonomous surveillance towers on the border and at military bases, according to documents surfaced in July by worker advocacy group Mijente. Lizette Chapmanbloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Peter Thiel missed out on China. Now he’s betting on American patriotism," 1 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Albumen silver print, 9-13/16 inches by 7-9/16 inches.(Charles Soulier / Getty Museum) For more than eight centuries, Notre Dame has towered above Paris as a Gothic monument to history, culture and worship. Steve Appleford, Los Angeles Times, "Notre Dame at the Getty: 38 works evoking beauty and loss from a ‘symphony of stone’," 31 July 2019 Manny towered over the tiny wood desk on the 11th floor of City Hall. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "A beat cop, a fateful shooting and the moments that shaped Phoenix's history," 17 July 2019 At nearly 1,200 square miles, Yosemite's natural wonders include towering El Capitan, rising nearly 3,600 feet over the valley floor, roughly the height of two-and-a-half Empire State Buildings. CBS News, "Almanac: Yosemite Valley Grant Act," 30 June 2019 Embiid was playing Hassan Whiteside outside of the league and towering everyone on defense. Andrew Sharp,, "The Sixers and a Summer Full of Questions," 10 May 2018 At Camden Post Oak’s 33-story building, residents can find exceptional views of Uptown and a taste of a developing landscape with residential towers and towering office buildings. Valerie Sweeten, Houston Chronicle, "Condo Life:," 6 May 2018 Kenai Fjord Tours offers short trips in Resurrection Bay, including a dinner cruise, which have breathtaking scenery of towering peaks and hanging glaciers above Seward. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Want to get off the beaten path in Alaska? Get on the water instead," 2 May 2018 Tucked among towering southern pines and draping live oaks, Palmetto Bluff, a residential resort community in Bluffton, South Carolina, blends seamlessly into the landscape. Smithsonian, "Discover Palmetto Bluff’s great outdoors," 1 Apr. 2018 For something with a little more oomph, book a pontoon, runabout, jet ski, fishing boat, tower ski boat or a group boat (which includes a captain). Sarah Kuta, The Know, "18 places you can rent a boat in landlocked Colorado," 8 July 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

10 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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