Meaning of PILLAR in English


I. ˈpilə(r) noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English piler, piller, from Old French piler, from Medieval Latin pilare, from Latin pila pillar, pier


a. : a firm upright support for a superstructure : post

b. : a column or shaft standing alone especially for a monument

2. : a natural pillar-shaped formation or mass

to follow in the wake of another vehicle … was to move in a pillar of dust — Rose Macaulay

little pillars of sand rose here and there — Norman Douglas

3. : one that is a mainstay : a chief supporter : prop

a rough-hewn pillar of the … Church — Ben Riker

the middlemen, … the pillars of society, the cornerstone of convention — Roy Lewis & Angus Maude

4. : any of various vertical supporting members: as

a. : the central support of a table : pedestal

b. : bedpost

c. : stanchion

d. : the vertical hollow post of a harp frame — see harp illustration

5. : something regarded as a chief support : a fundamental fact, idea, principle, or practice

science and criticism had eaten away the pillars of superstition and unreasoning faith — W.P.Webb

there are five compulsory practices, or pillars of Islam — A.C.Bouquet

6. : any of the brass posts between the two plates of a watch or clock movement that serve to keep the plates in their proper positions

7. : a solid mass of coal, rock, or ore left standing to support the roof

8. : the center of the volt, ring, or manege ground around which a horse turns

9. : a body part likened to a pillar or column (as the columella of a snail shell or the margin of the external abdominal ring) ; specifically : pillar of the fauces

10. : a mailbox shaped like a pillar

11. : a frame on which clay pipes rest while being baked in a kiln

- from pillar to post

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to support or strengthen with or as if with a pillar

2. : to embody in or represent in the form of a pillar

intransitive verb

: to be supported by pillars

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.