spire

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Old English spīr. Cognate with Dutch spier, German Spier, Spiere, Swedish spira.

Noun[edit]

spire (plural spires)

  1. (now rare) The stalk or stem of a plant. [from 10th c.]
  2. A young shoot of a plant; a spear. [from 14th c.]
  3. A sharp or tapering point. [from 16th c.]
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 1, The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      A beech wood with silver firs in it rolled down the face of the hill, and the maze of leafless twigs and dusky spires cut sharp against the soft blueness of the evening sky.
  4. A tapering structure built on a roof or tower, especially as one of the central architectural features of a church or cathedral roof. [from 16th c.]
    The spire of the church rose high above the town.
  5. The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit. [from 17th c.]
    • Shakespeare
      the spire and top of praises
  6. (mining) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the charge in blasting.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

spire (third-person singular simple present spires, present participle spiring, simple past and past participle spired)

  1. Of a seed, plant etc.: to sprout, to send forth the early shoots of growth; to germinate. [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.5:
      In gentle Ladies breste and bounteous race / Of woman kind it fayrest Flowre doth spyre, / And beareth fruit of honour and all chast desyre.
    • Mortimer
      It is not so apt to spire up as the other sorts, being more inclined to branch into arms.
  2. To grow upwards rather than develop horizontally. [from 14th c.]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French spirer, and its source, Latin spīrāre (to breathe).

Verb[edit]

spire (third-person singular simple present spires, present participle spiring, simple past and past participle spired)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To breathe. [14th-16th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shenstone to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle French spire.

Noun[edit]

spire (plural spires)

  1. One of the sinuous foldings of a serpent or other reptile; a coil. [from 16th c.]
  2. A spiral. [from 17th c.]
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  3. (geometry) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin spira, from Ancient Greek σπεῖρα (speîra).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

spire f (plural spires)

  1. turn (of a spiral)

Anagrams[edit]

External links[edit]


Italian[edit]

Noun[edit]

spira f

  1. plural form of spira

Anagrams[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse spíra (stem, pipe; little tree)

Noun[edit]

spire f, m (definite singular spira or spiren, indefinite plural spirer, definite plural spirene)

  1. sprout

Verb[edit]

spire (present tense spirer; past tense spirte; past participle spirt)

  1. to sprout

Venetian[edit]

Noun[edit]

spire f

  1. plural form of spira