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See also: Tower


 tower on Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English tour, tur, tor, from Old English tūr, tor, torr ("tower; rock"; > English tor) and Old French tour, toer, tor; both from Latin turris (a tower), Ancient Greek τύρρις (túrrhis) (Hesychius), τύρσις (túrsis). Compare Τυρρηνός (Turrhēnós, Etruscan).

Compare Scots tour, towr, towre (tower), West Frisian toer (tower), Dutch toren (tower), German Turm (tower), Danish tårn (tower), Swedish torn (tower), Icelandic turn (tower), Welsh tŵr. Doublet of tor.



tower (plural towers)

A nineteenth century water tower
  1. A very tall iron-framed structure, usually painted red and white, on which microwave, radio, satellite, or other communication antennas are installed; mast.
  2. A similarly framed structure with a platform or enclosed area on top, used as a lookout for spotting fires, plane crashes, fugitives, etc.
  3. A water tower.
  4. A control tower.
  5. Any very tall building or structure; skyscraper.
  6. (figuratively) An item of various kinds, such as a computer case, that is higher than it is wide.
  7. (informal) An interlocking tower.
  8. (figurative) A strong refuge; a defence.
  9. (historical) A tall fashionable headdress worn in the time of King William III and Queen Anne.
  10. (obsolete) High flight; elevation.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book XI”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Nigh in her sight
      The Bird of Jove, stoopt from his aerie tour,
      Two Birds of gayest plume before him drove.
  11. The sixteenth trump or Major Arcana card in many Tarot decks, usually deemed an ill omen.
  12. (cartomancy) The nineteenth Lenormand card, representing structure, bureaucracy, stability and loneliness.
Derived terms[edit]
  • German: Tower
  • Hindi: टावर (ṭāvar)
  • Japanese: タワー (tawā)
  • Korean: 타워 (tawo)
  • Northern Kurdish: tawer
  • Punjabi: ਟਾਵਰ (ṭāvar)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English touren, torren, torrien, from Old English *torrian, from the noun (see above).


tower (third-person singular simple present towers, present participle towering, simple past and past participle towered)

  1. (intransitive) To be very tall.
    The office block towered into the sky.
    • 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers.
  2. (intransitive) To be high or lofty; to soar.
    • 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
      My lord protector's hawks do tower so well.
    • 1829, Edgar Allan Poe, “Tamerlane”, in Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems:
      When Hope, the eagle that tower’d, could see
      No cliff beyond him in the sky,
      His pinions were bent droopingly —
      And homeward turn’d his soften’d eye.
    • 1960 December, Voyageur, “The Mountain Railways of the Bernese Oberland”, in Trains Illustrated, page 752:
      To the left towers the Jungfrau, with the train heading directly towards it.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To soar into.
    • 1667, John Milton, “(please specify the book number)”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Her state with oary feet; yet oft they quit
      The dank, and, rising on stiff pennons, tower
      The mid aerial sky
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From tow +‎ -er.



tower (plural towers)

  1. One who tows.
    • 1933, Henry Sturmey; H. Walter Staner, The Autocar:
      But as the tower and towee reached the cross-roads again, another car, negligently driven, came round the corner, hit the Morris, and severed the tow rope, sending the unfortunate car back again into the shop window []




tower (present tower, present participle towerende, past participle getower)

  1. Alternative form of toor.