See more synonyms for pylon on
  1. a marking post or tower for guiding aviators, frequently used in races.
  2. a relatively tall structure at the side of a gate, bridge, or avenue, marking an entrance or approach.
  3. a monumental tower forming the entrance to an ancient Egyptian temple, consisting either of a pair of tall quadrilateral masonry masses with sloping sides and a doorway between them or of one such mass pierced with a doorway.
  4. a steel tower or mast carrying high-tension lines, telephone wires, or other cables and lines.
  5. Aeronautics. a finlike device used to attach engines, auxiliary fuel tanks, bombs, etc., to an aircraft wing or fuselage.

Origin of pylon

First recorded in 1840–50, pylon is from the Greek word pylṓn gateway, gate tower Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pylon

Historical Examples of pylon

  • At the top of the worn stone stairway, cut in the pylon, I met Biddy.

    It Happened in Egypt

    C. N. Williamson

  • Pylon, or Pro-Pylon, the portal or front of an Egyptian temple.


    Thomas Roger Smith

  • Six days had gone by, and Queen Neter-Tua starved in the pylon tower.

    Morning Star

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Through the pylon window-place crept the first grey light of dawn.

    Morning Star

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Remember when we starved in the pylon tower at Memphis, and what befell us there.

    Morning Star

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for pylon


  1. a large vertical steel tower-like structure supporting high-tension electrical cables
  2. a post or tower for guiding pilots or marking a turning point in a race
  3. a streamlined aircraft structure for attaching an engine pod, external fuel tank, etc, to the main body of the aircraft
  4. a monumental gateway, such as one at the entrance to an ancient Egyptian temple
  5. a temporary artificial leg

Word Origin for pylon

C19: from Greek pulōn a gateway
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 pylon

1823, "gateway to an Egyptian temple," from Greek pylon "gateway," from pyle "gate, wing of a pair of double gates; an entrance, entrance into a country; mountain pass; narrow strait of water," of unknown origin. Meaning "tower for guiding aviators" (1909) led to that of "steel tower for high-tension wires" (1923).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper