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

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Examples of tower in a Sentence

Noun a hill from which one can gaze upon the towers of that great and historic city
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Seller Northwood Investors made a significant profit after paying $290 million for the tower in 2018. Roland Li,, "Office rents are so high that Bay Area businesses are buying buildings," 15 Sep. 2019 Authorities said they were called to the landmark tower around 3:40 p.m. after the 35-year-old man wielded the sword and put it to his chest. Fox News, "NYPD nabs sword-wielding man on Empire State Building observation deck," 14 Sep. 2019 Just northeast of the historic building, Bosa Development is constructing what will be the tallest residential tower at about 490 feet. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Historic Spreckels Building begins leasing after more than 5 years of construction," 14 Sep. 2019 Amazon was supposed to lease 1 million square feet of space in the 1.5 million-square-foot tower. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Long Island City tries to move on after Amazon HQ2 debacle," 14 Sep. 2019 Place one of the chocolate cones on top of that to create the tower next to the house. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Haunted Cookie House," 13 Sep. 2019 When the towers collapsed, hundreds of tons of asbestos vaporized into the air. Caroline Lester, The New Yorker, "The Continuing Legacy of 9/11," 11 Sep. 2019 His family honored him with a memorial service six months later, in March 2002, after the medical examiner identified his remains, which were found in the lobby debris of the south tower. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Remains of firefighter killed on 9/11 identified 18 years after attacks, honored on eve of anniversary," 11 Sep. 2019 Her mother, Erika Leiken, was just blocks from the World Trade Center towers that morning and 8 1/2 months pregnant. Hannah Drown,, "Hear from Shaker Heights High School student born on 9/11 in New York City on Facebook Live around noon," 11 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Photograph Norway’s world-famous fjords while kayaking beneath towering cliffs and waterfalls. National Geographic, "Norway Expedition: Nordic Cultures and Arctic Exploration," 10 Sep. 2019 After the dust settled, Mr Clifford and his fellow workers left a towering legacy. The Economist, "The last man to have built Mount Rushmore," 1 Aug. 2019 On most afternoons lately, towering cumulus have formed over the high Sierra in advance of short, intense thunderstorms with booming thunder rolls and pounding hail and rain. Tom Stienstra,, "In the central Sierra, Mitchell Peak stands out," 31 July 2019 Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Krabi Close your eyes and picture yourself on a white-sand beach with the Andaman Sea on one side and towering limestone cliffs on the other. Alisha Prakash, USA TODAY, "9 remote resorts in Thailand: Luxurious seclusion for when you want to get lost," 20 June 2019 Large picture windows let guests take in views of pristine Swiftcurrent Lake and the mountains that tower over it. Justin Franz, The Know, "Have Glacier National Park to yourself," 1 Sep. 2019 Large picture windows let guests take in views of pristine Swiftcurrent Lake and the mountains that tower over it. Justin Franz, The Know, "Have Glacier National Park to yourself," 1 Sep. 2019 The Dragon Boat, built in 1980, is the tallest houseboat in Sausalito, its four stories towering over all its neighbors. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Sausalito’s 4-story ‘Dragon Boat’ houseboat will be open to visitors," 31 Aug. 2019 Large picture windows let guests take in views of pristine Swiftcurrent Lake and the mountains that tower over it. Justin Franz, Houston Chronicle, "Have Glacier National Park to yourself in the fall," 30 Aug. 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

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tower

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

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More Definitions for tower


How to pronounce tower (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tower

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not being in agreement or harmony

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