[ tou-er-ing ]
/ ˈtaʊ ər ɪŋ /


very high or tall; lofty: a towering oak.
surpassing others; very great: a towering figure in American poetry.
rising to an extreme degree of violence or intensity: a towering rage.
beyond the proper or usual limits; inordinate; excessive: towering pride; towering ambitions.

Origin of towering

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at tower1, -ing2
Related formstow·er·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for towering (2 of 2)


[ tou-er ]
/ ˈtaʊ ər /


verb (used without object)

Origin of tower

before 900; (noun) Middle English tour, earlier tur, tor < Old French < Latin turris < Greek týrris, variant of týrsis tower; Middle English tor perhaps in some cases continuing Old English torr < Latin turris, as above; (v.) late Middle English touren, derivative of the noun
Related formstow·er·less, adjectivetow·er·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for towering

British Dictionary definitions for towering (1 of 2)


/ (ˈtaʊərɪŋ) /


very tall; lofty
outstanding, as in importance or stature
(prenominal) very intensea towering rage

Derived Formstoweringly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for towering (2 of 2)


/ (ˈtaʊə) /


a tall, usually square or circular structure, sometimes part of a larger building and usually built for a specific purposea church tower; a control tower
a place of defence or retreat
a mobile structure used in medieval warfare to attack a castle, etc
tower of strength a person who gives support, comfort, etc


(intr) to be or rise like a tower; loom

Word Origin for tower

C12: from Old French tur, from Latin turris, from Greek
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

Idioms and Phrases with towering


In addition to the idiom beginning with tower

  • tower of strength

also see:

  • ivory tower

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