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

Crews placed large rocks around the base of the tower to block erosion. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Point Woronzof shrinking an average of 2 feet each year, UAA researchers and students find," 12 June 2019 Pictures released by the Fire Department on Monday show piles of burned rubble on the roof of the tower. Washington Post, "The Latest: Lawmaker: NYC needs more limits on helicopters," 11 June 2019 The fire broke out late Friday on the upper floors of a tower at the Warsaw Hub, a new complex. Fox News, "Blaze engulfs upper floors of Warsaw high-rise; no one hurt," 8 June 2019 To play this game, each player must take a turn taking out a piece of the wooden tower without causing it to crash down. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "20 Fun and Creative Graduation Party Games You’ll Definitely Want to Play," 7 June 2019 Two of the towers have chairs on them where the operators sit. Christopher Arnott,, "By the numbers: What it takes to make Cirque’s ‘Luzia’ happen," 6 June 2019 The state allocated $6 million toward construction of an air traffic control tower at Lewis University Airport in Romeoville. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Towns may have to wait years to get funds through Rebuild Illinois capital plan," 6 June 2019 The property at 220 Central Park South, a nearly 24,000-square-foot apartment over several floors at the top of a tower, became the most expensive home ever sold in the US. Anna Bahney, CNN, "Jeff Bezos lands $80 million dollar 'deal' on three New York City condos," 4 June 2019 Trump’s name was scraped from a stone wall in front of the tower, which is now the JW Marriott Panama. Heather Vogell, ProPublica, "Trump Companies Accused of Tax Evasion in Panama," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to have lost the mayoral race in its historical bastion, Istanbul, a stinging setback for a leader who has towered over Turkish politics for the past 16 years. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Turkey Elections Loosen Erdogan’s Grip on Power, With Losses in Ankara, Istanbul," 1 Apr. 2019 And how about the company's planned 348-foot-tall BFR rocket, which will tower over the Statue of Liberty and be as wide as a London bus is long? Sarah Cahlan /, NBC News, "SpaceX rockets are HOW big? Check out the new video Elon Musk called 'cool'," 21 June 2018 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

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

15 Jun 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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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