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 tower (audio) \ adjective
towerlike \ ˈtau̇(-​ə)r-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tower (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 Three months later, a main cable connected to that same tower snapped, causing more devastating damage. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, "After Suffering Irreparable Damage, It’s Lights Out for the Arecibo Observatory’s Iconic Telescope," 20 Nov. 2020 If one of three remaining main cables connected to the impaired tower also failed, the engineers concluded, the platform would collapse. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Famed Arecibo telescope, on the brink of collapse, will be dismantled," 19 Nov. 2020 Before crews could repair that cable, another one attached to the same tower ruptured on November 6. Nadia Drake, National Geographic, "Iconic radio telescope in Puerto Rico is at risk of collapsing," 12 Nov. 2020 Minutes later, the heaving line secured to the tower, and six men climbed down the rope to the Vestal. Jamie Landers, The Arizona Republic, "Granddaughter honors Pearl Harbor survivor through USS Arizona sponsorship in Gilbert," 11 Nov. 2020 Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, a division of Arca Continental, is moving its headquarters from Farmers Branch to the Two Lincoln Centre tower. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Uptown Dallas-based engineering firm headed to LBJ Freeway," 9 Nov. 2020 Inside a second floor bedroom, a motor is attached to a cable system, which runs the cable down to a tension tower 90 feet away in the front lawn. Steve Schering,, "Father and son build elaborate motorized ‘candy drop’ in River Forest for Halloween," 27 Oct. 2020 Since the alert was intended to reach people on the Kenai Peninsula — the Homer area was part of the tsunami warning zone — any phones connecting to that cellphone tower would have received the warning. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Why cellphones in Anchorage keep getting emergency tsunami alerts when there’s no danger after faraway quakes," 21 Oct. 2020 Her husband, Darrell King, also objected to the tower. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, "Benton County planners approve cell tower request," 8 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Behind us tower the ramparts of IDE’s offices, which are housed in a medieval castle. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Are Videogames the Future of Remote Work?," 16 Jan. 2021 Its three locations along Highway 101 clearly indicate that the chain is poised to become a road-trip fixture, perhaps as ubiquitous as the golden arches that tower over countless gas stations around the country. Soleil Ho,, "Two growing Bay Area restaurants, Malibu’s and Amy’s, serve craveable fast-food burgers — just without the meat," 14 Jan. 2021 Strangest of all, PG&E power lines tower over the vineyard, and Amtrak tracks border it. Esther Mobley,, "This vibrant, pomegranate-packed red wine comes from an unusual vineyard in the East Bay suburbs," 2 Dec. 2020 Aren't these objective correlates of disposable consumer culture, with labor and environmental consequences that tower over even the relative size of the boxes themselves, better left discarded in the past? Dia Lacina, Wired, "The Evolution of Game Console Design—and American Gamers," 5 Nov. 2020 Steep-forested mountains tower over glacial fjords. Amy Gulick, The New Republic, "The Majestic Alaskan Rain Forest in Trump’s Crosshairs," 5 Nov. 2020 Also on the hill are the Hanner Double Columns, two limestone columns that tower above the surrounding graves. Christine Fernando, The Indianapolis Star, "The cemetery documents Bedford's past. But its historic limestone monuments are crumbling.," 28 Oct. 2020 In this department, Southwest and Delta still tower above the rest. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Airlines Are Charting Different Courses to Recovery. Cash Could Still Decide the Winner.," 23 Oct. 2020 Inflatable tube men—those wacky, wriggling figures that tower near car dealerships and mattress stores—are typically designed to grab attention. Max G. Levy, Science | AAAS, "Wacky tube men could keep dingoes away from livestock in Australia," 20 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for tower

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tower

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tower.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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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Comments on tower

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