belfry

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Old French berfrey (changed to have an l by association with bell), from Middle High German [1][2] bërcvrit / bërvrit[3] , possibly from Late Latin berefredus, borrowed from Proto-Germanic *bergafriþuz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

belfry (plural belfries)

  1. (obsolete) A movable tower used in sieges.
  2. (dialectal) A shed.
  3. (obsolete) An alarm-tower; a watchtower containing an alarm-bell.
  4. (architecture) A tower or steeple specifically for containing bells, especially as part of a church.
  5. (architecture) A part of a large tower or steeple, specifically for containing bells.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Episode 12, The Cyclops
      From the belfries far and near the funereal deathbell tolled unceasingly while all around the gloomy precincts rolled the ominous warning of a hundred muffled drums punctuated by the hollow booming of pieces of ordnance.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ belfry in Online Etymology dictionary
  2. ^ belfry in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  3. ^ Alternative spelling and languages with loanwords from the Middle High German word, in Benecke's Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch