[ pil-er ]
/ ˈpɪl ər /


verb (used with object)

to provide or support with pillars.


    from pillar to post,
    1. aimlessly from place to place.
    2. uneasily from one bad situation or predicament to another.

Origin of pillar

1175–1225; Middle English pillare < Medieval Latin pīlāre (see pile1, -ar2); replacing earlier piler < Old French < Medieval Latin, as above
Related formspil·lared, adjectivepil·lar·like, adjectiveun·pil·lared, adjective
Can be confusedpillar pillory pillow

Synonym study

1. See column.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pillar

British Dictionary definitions for pillar


/ (ˈpɪlə) /


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 for pillar

C13: from Old French pilier, from Latin pīla; see pile 1
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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for pillar


[ pĭlər ]


A structure or part that provides support and resembles a column or pillar.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.