spire

1
[ spahyuh r ]
/ spaɪər /

noun

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, spir·ing.

to shoot or rise into spirelike form; rise or extend to a height in the manner of a spire.

Origin of spire

1
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

spire·less, adjectiveun·spir·ing, adjective

Can be confused

spire steeple

Definition for spire (2 of 2)

spire

2
[ spahyuh r ]
/ spaɪər /

noun

a coil or spiral.
one of the series of convolutions of a coil or spiral.
Zoology. the upper, convoluted part of a spiral shell, above the aperture.

Origin of spire

2
1565–75; < Latin spīra < Greek speîra; see spiral

Related forms

spire·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spire

British Dictionary definitions for spire (1 of 2)

spire

1
/ (spaɪə) /

noun

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

verb

(intr) to assume the shape of a spire; point up
(tr) to furnish with a spire or spires

Derived Forms

spiry, adjective

Word Origin for spire

Old English spīr blade; related to Old Norse spīra stalk, Middle Low German spīr shoot, Latin spīna thorn

British Dictionary definitions for spire (2 of 2)

spire

2
/ (spaɪə) /

noun

any of the coils or turns in a spiral structure
the apical part of a spiral shell

Derived Forms

spiriferous (spaɪəˈrɪfərəs), adjective

Word Origin for spire

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