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See also: Campanile


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Campanile di San Marco or St. Mark’s Campanile, the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy.

Borrowed from Italian campanile (bell tower, belfry), from campana (bell)[1] + -ile (suffix forming nouns indicating locations that host animals or objects). Campana is derived from Late Latin and Medieval Latin campāna (large bell used in late classical or medieval church towers or steeples; tower for such a bell, belfry, campanile), and then either:

  • traditionally regarded to be from Latin Campāna (region of Campania, Italy) (because bells were supposedly introduced in Christian services in Nola, a diocese of Campania, by Saint Paulinus (c. 354 – 431), though the story has been discredited),[2] from Campānus (relating to the region of Campania, Italy, or its inhabitants, Campanian), from campus (field, plain) (from Proto-Indo-European *kh₂em- (to bend, curve)) + -ānus (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’ forming adjectives, which are sometimes used as nouns); or
  • from Ancient Greek καπάνη (kapánē, felt helmet) (apparently because of the similarity in shape).

The plural form campanili is derived from Italian campanili.



campanile (plural campaniles or campanili)

  1. A bell tower (especially one that is freestanding), often associated with a church or other public building, especially in Italy.
    The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a campanile.
    • 1914, E[dward] V[errall] Lucas, “Giorgione”, in A Wanderer in Venice, London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. [], →OCLC, pages 294–295:
      There was no doubt as to the direction, with the campanile of the duomo as a beacon. For a quarter of a mile the road is straight and narrow; then it broadens into an open space and Castel Franco appears.



  1. ^ campanile, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2021; “campanile, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ H. W. P[hillott] (1911), “Paulinus (8), St.”, in Henry Wace and William C[oleman] Piercy, editors, A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies, London: John Murray, [], →OCLC, page 814, column 1: “Dr. Adolf Buse, [] shews that the use of bells in churches, an invention credited to him [St. Paulinus] by tradition, is not due to him, nor even to the town of Nola.”




campanile m (plural campaniles)

  1. campanile

Further reading[edit]



From campana +‎ -ile. Compare Spanish campanil, Venetian canpaniłe.


  • IPA(key): /kam.paˈni.le/
  • Rhymes: -ile
  • Hyphenation: cam‧pa‧nì‧le


campanile m (plural campanili)

  1. bell tower
  2. belfry

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: campanile