- 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.
- to shoot or rise into spirelike form; rise or extend to a height in the manner of a spire.
Origin of spire1
- 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 spire2
Examples from the Web for spires
Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
The Spires gather data every time somebody uses them; they log each “product.”Font of Invention
September 18, 2014
A view looking beyond the spires of Notre Dame reveals the urban chaos about to be demolished.Charles Marville Captures the Rebirth of 1800s Paris in New Exhibition
November 13, 2013
The purple hues of the early evening sky paint a picturesque backdrop against the silhouettes of domes and spires.Are Cruise Ships Damaging Venice?
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 31, 2012
The tip of the one of the spires at the National Cathedral fell onto the steps of Pilgrim Road.Earthquake Hits the East Coast!
August 23, 2011
Norman towers were sometimes capped with spires in the thirteenth century.
Spires of this period are not very common, and usually spring from within the parapet.
We are told that in Central Staffordshire churches with spires are rare.England, Picturesque and Descriptive
Southward were dwellings, stores, shops, and the spires of meetinghouses.Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times
Charles Carleton Coffin
I have never seen Oxford since, excepting its spires, as they are seen from the railway.Apologia Pro Vita Sua
John Henry Cardinal Newman
- the English name for Speyer
- 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
- (intr) to assume the shape of a spire; point up
- (tr) to furnish with a spire or spires
- any of the coils or turns in a spiral structure
- the apical part of a spiral shell
Word Origin and History for spires
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.