- a bell tower, either attached to a church or other building or standing apart.
- the part of a steeple or other structure in which a bell is hung.
- a frame of timberwork that holds or encloses a bell.
- Slang. head; mind: a belfry full of curious notions.
- have bats in one's belfry. bat2(def 3).
Origin of belfry
Examples from the Web for belfry
Ere Sophie came back to me, there was a bell-stroke from the belfry.
That is not a belfry: it is a chimney, the bakehouse chimney.A Nest of Spies
At that moment eleven o'clock sounded from the belfry of Rocreuse.
Jarvis wouldn't say that; but he didn't deny that there might have been a few cobwebs in the belfry.Shorty McCabe
On examining the belfry, it was discovered that some persons had carried off the clapper of the bell.Fox's Book of Martyrs
- the part of a tower or steeple in which bells are hung
- a tower or steepleCompare campanile
- the timber framework inside a tower or steeple on which bells are hung
- (formerly) a movable tower for attacking fortifications
Word Origin and History for belfry
c.1400, "siege tower" (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin with a sense "bell tower"), from Old North French berfroi "movable siege tower" (Modern French beffroi), from Middle High German bercfrit "protecting shelter," literally "that which watches over peace," from bergen "to protect" (see bury) + frid "peace." Originally a wooden siege tower on wheels ("free" to move); it came to be used for chime towers (mid-15c.), which at first often were detached from church buildings (as the Campanile on Plaza San Marco in Venice). Spelling altered by dissimilation or by association with bell (n.).
Idioms and Phrases with belfry
see bats in one's belfry.