Meaning of TOWER in English

I. ˈtau̇(ə)r, ˈtau̇ə, esp in southern United States ˈtau̇wə(r noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English tour, tur, tor, from Old English torr & Old French tor, tur, both from Latin turris, from Greek tyrris, tyrsis


a. : a building or structure designed primarily for elevation that is higher than its diameter and high relative to its surroundings, that may stand apart (as a round tower, campanile, or pagoda), be attached (as a church belfry) to a larger structure, or project above or out from a wall, and that may be of skeleton framework (as an observation or transmission tower)

b. : such a structure used as a defense : citadel , fortress

c. : fortified prison

d. : a medieval engine of war for storming operations consisting of a tower on wheels having several platforms with the lowest sometimes occupied by a battering ram and the highest by soldiers (as archers and men with scaling ladders)

2. : a structure or mass in the form of or resembling a tower: as

a. : a building for housing the mechanism (as levers) for operating the switches and signals of a railroad : switch tower


(1) : fire tower 1

(2) : water tower 2

(3) : drill tower

c. : control tower

d. : a high office or apartment building : skyscraper

the new owners of that uptown office tower — New York Herald Tribune

e. : a very high formation or pile (as of rock)

f. : a vertical structure of varying height through which gases or liquids are passed especially to be purified, dried, fractionated, or absorbed — compare bubble tower , column 3d, glover tower , plate tower

g. : a structure on an elephant's back — compare howdah

h. : a heraldic representation of a round tower closely resembling in form a modern rook in chess — compare castle 6

i. : tour I 4


a. : one that provides support or protection : bulwark , pillar

thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy — Ps 61:3 (Authorized Version)

— usually used in the phrase tower of strength

the king's name is a tower of strength — Shakespeare

has been a veritable tower of strength in the affairs of this club — W.F.Brown b. 1903

b. : a place of refuge (as for contemplation or for avoidance of worldly problems) : retreat , sanctuary

the only escape from this anguish of dissatisfaction was to ascend into those towers of indifference — P.E.More

content to stay within theology's safe academic tower — Newsweek

— compare ivory tower

4. : the high flight of a bird (as a hawk or eagle) : soar

the peak of the tower

especially : the steep flight upward of a wounded game bird

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English towren, torren, from towr, tor tower

intransitive verb


a. : to reach to a great height : rise

spires towering in the distance

a great column of black smoke … towering up — Nevil Shute

the powdered coiffures … towered as much as a yard high — Lois Long

one moment he towered in imagination, the next he groveled in fear — G.D.Brown

b. : to rise above the surroundings : surpass others : overshadow — used with above or over

the great forests towered above the toiling men and women — W.P.Webb

tower above all the rest in vigor and height of intellect — Joshua Whatmough


a. : to fly high before swooping : soar

the raven … towered steeply up from the rocks — Farley Mowat

— used. especially of a hawk; compare stoop

b. : to fly vertically upward before falling — used of a wounded game bird

had another bird which towered — T.H.White b. 1906

transitive verb

1. archaic : to raise aloft : lift up : elevate

gigantic trees … towered their lofty heads to the clouds — W.S.Mayo

2. obsolete : to soar into

rising on stiff pennons tower the mid aerial sky — John Milton

Synonyms: see rise

III. ˈtō(ə)r noun

( -s )

Etymology: tow (III) + -er

: one that smooths ceramic ware with tow

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