- an upright shaft or structure, of stone, brick, or other material, relatively slender in proportion to its height, and of any shape in section, used as a building support, or standing alone, as for a monument: Gothic pillars; a pillar to commemorate Columbus.
- a natural formation resembling such a construction: a pillar of rock; a pillar of smoke.
- any upright, supporting part; post: the pillar of a table.
- a person who is a chief supporter of a society, state, institution, etc.: a pillar of the community.
- Horology. any of several short parts for spacing and keeping in the proper relative positions two plates holding the bearings of a watch or clock movement.
- Mining. an isolated mass of rock or ore in a mine, usually serving as a roof support in early operations and later removed, wholly or in part.
- Nautical. mast1(def 2).
- to provide or support with pillars.
- from pillar to post,
- aimlessly from place to place.
- uneasily from one bad situation or predicament to another.
Origin of pillar
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pillar
In another generation, it will be useless, leading visitors straight into a pillar.Silicon Valley Mansions, Swallowed Alive
November 8, 2014
Yet over the course of this season, Sansa has become a pillar of strong womanhood.Valar Morghulis: Game of Thrones’ Women Are Going to Rule the World
June 17, 2014
I live just 45 minutes from my childhood home, so I am hardly the pillar of independence.Marlo Thomas Says Girls Should Feel Free to Be Like Hannah Horvath
April 24, 2014
Jackson is, contrary to this off-field image people have cultivated for him, a pillar of the community.The Philadelphia Eagles’ Race Problem: The Curious Case of DeSean Jackson and Riley Cooper
March 29, 2014
But as Pillar noted, these groups “still want coverage by the mainstream media in order to realize their publicity goals.”Media Coverage of Olympic Terror Threats Shines Spotlight on Wrong Players
February 3, 2014
When LOT swapped his wife away for a pillar of salt, the trade was free.
Behind it, at the corner of a pillar, was an ever-burning altar-lamp.The Dream
In an hour we can raise a pillar of ice ten feet high, and that is quite enough.The Field of Ice
Crowded against the pillar I could not escape and so tried to appear unconcerned.City of Endless Night
They threatened between them to fix her there in a pillar of snow.Heather and Snow
- an upright structure of stone, brick, metal, etc, that supports a superstructure or is used for ornamentation
- something resembling this in shape or functiona pillar of stones; a pillar of smoke
- a tall, slender, usually sheer rock column, forming a separate top
- a prominent supportera pillar of the Church
- from pillar to post from one place to another
- (tr) to support with or as if with pillars
Word Origin and History for pillar
c.1200, from Old French piler "pillar, column, pier" (12c., Modern French pilier) and directly from Medieval Latin pilare, from Latin pila "pillar, stone barrier." Figurative sense of "prop or support of an institution or community" is first recorded early 14c. Phrase pillar to post is c.1600, originally of tennis, exact meaning obscure.
- A structure or part that provides support and resembles a column or pillar.