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[spahyuh rd] /spaɪərd/
having a spire.
Origin of spired
First recorded in 1600-10; spire1 + -ed3
Related forms
multispired, adjective
unspired, adjective


[spahyuh r] /spaɪər/
a tall, acutely pointed pyramidal roof or rooflike construction upon a tower, roof, etc.
a similar construction forming the upper part of a steeple.
a tapering, pointed part of something; a tall, sharp-pointed summit, peak, or the like:
the distant spires of the mountains.
the highest point or summit of something:
the spire of a hill; the spire of one's profession.
a sprout or shoot of a plant, as an acrospire of grain or a blade or spear of grass.
verb (used without object), spired, spiring.
to shoot or rise into spirelike form; rise or extend to a height in the manner of a spire.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English spīr spike, blade; cognate with Middle Dutch spier, Middle Low German spīr shoot, sprout, sprig, Old Norse spīra stalk
Related forms
spireless, adjective
unspiring, adjective
Can be confused
spire, steeple. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for spired
Historical Examples
  • They saw the glint of the sun on lance-tip and spired helmet.

  • On each side of the window, which is in the front, is a niche (with) spired top.

  • Imposing, even in its shabbiness, stood the old house, at the end of an avenue of spired cedars.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • Up they thrust—domed and arched, spired and horned, pyramided, fanged and needled.

    The Metal Monster A. Merritt
  • It has triple belfry windows, and a spired stair turret, but the shallowness of the buttresses detracts from its impressiveness.

    Somerset G.W. Wade and J.H. Wade
  • On his head was a green silk turban, wound about a spired helmet chased with gold.

    A Witch Shall Be Born Robert E. Howard
  • It never occurred to the in- spired writers that polygamy was a crime.

  • Leaving half a dozen men in the boat, he took the rest, ten mighty archers of Khawarizm, in spired helmets and tiger-skin cloaks.

    The Devil in Iron Robert E. Howard
  • He drew his scimitar and advanced, confident in his spired helmet and close-meshed mail.

    The Devil in Iron Robert E. Howard
  • Small and formal cedars pointed their spired heads toward the spring sky.

    Contrary Mary

    Temple Bailey
British Dictionary definitions for spired


Also called steeple. a tall structure that tapers upwards to a point, esp one on a tower or roof or one that forms the upper part of a steeple
a slender tapering shoot or stem, such as a blade of grass
the apical part of any tapering formation; summit
(intransitive) to assume the shape of a spire; point up
(transitive) to furnish with a spire or spires
Derived Forms
spiry, adjective
Word Origin
Old English spīr blade; related to Old Norse spīra stalk, Middle Low German spīr shoot, Latin spīna thorn


any of the coils or turns in a spiral structure
the apical part of a spiral shell
Derived Forms
spiriferous (spaɪəˈrɪfərəs) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin spīra a coil, from Greek speira
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spired



Old English spir "sprout, shoot, stalk of grass," from Proto-Germanic *spiraz (cf. Old Norse spira "a stalk, slender tree," Middle Low German spir "a small point or top"), from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "tapering top of a tower or steeple" first recorded 1590s (a sense attested in Middle Low German since late 14c. and also found in the Scandinavian cognates). The verb is first recorded early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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