[ bel-free ]
/ ˈbɛl fri /
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noun, plural bel·fries.
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.
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Idioms about belfry

    have bats in one's belfry. bat2 (def. 3).

Origin of belfry

1225–75; Middle English belfray, apparently blend of earlier berfray (<Middle French <Germanic ) and Medieval Latin belfredus, dissimilated variant of berefredus<Germanic; compare Middle High German ber(c) frit, equivalent to berc defense, protection, refuge (cognate with Old English gebeorg;see harbor) + frit peace, (place of) safety (cognate with Old English frith)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use belfry in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for belfry

/ (ˈbɛlfrɪ) /

noun plural -fries
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 for belfry

C13: from Old French berfrei, of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German bercfrit fortified tower, Medieval Latin berfredus tower
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with belfry


see bats in one's belfry.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.