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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a church spire/steeple (=a church tower with a pointed top)
▪ The tall church spires could be seen from far away.
▪ This replaced the Gothic spire of the old St Nicholas' in the 18C.
▪ This plywood structure has grown bigger and bigger, and he has even carved gothic spires on its top.
▪ It eschewed the Gothic spire and mediaeval internal arrangements.
▪ A church spire rising at the centre of town.
▪ He walked past the helicopter pad and along a sandy road that led toward the church spires.
▪ We were shown a bullet-ridden orb, lying on the ground, that had once decorated the church spire.
▪ At the town center were two low church spires of oxidized copper surmounted by twin crosses.
▪ It was like a dream come true to see the spires and the river.
▪ From the hill they could see the spires of the city....
▪ Bird watchers would thoroughly enjoy the unvisited lake at Carambolim, from which you can just see the spires of old Goa.
▪ After a mile he came out on a road and saw the spire of the Lutheran church of Ellrich Village ahead of him.
▪ All these cathedrals were intended to have many towers surmounted by spires.
▪ Between the towering rows of spires lies a low valley up to a few miles wide.
▪ But the most arresting feature is the amazing spire of Meall Mheadhonach at the other end of the ridge.
▪ Few of the towers, apart from the western ones, were built and even fewer spires.
▪ Shrimp slip into the sample chamber just as the spire tumbles over.
▪ The canyon walls, rock formations and spires on the rim looked surreal, like a backdrop in a movie set.
▪ The dreaming spires had etched themselves deeply on my imagination.
▪ The elegant spring spires of delphiniums are perhaps the truest of the blues.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spire \Spire\, v. i. [L. spirare to breathe. See Spirit.] To breathe. [Obs.]


Spire \Spire\, n. [OE. spire, spir, a blade of grass, a young shoot, AS. sp[=i]r; akin to G. spier a blade of grass, Dan. spire a sprout, sprig, Sw. spira a spar, Icel. sp[=i]ra.]

  1. A slender stalk or blade in vegetation; as, a spire grass or of wheat.

    An oak cometh up a little spire.

  2. A tapering body that shoots up or out to a point in a conical or pyramidal form. Specifically (Arch.), the roof of a tower when of a pyramidal form and high in proportion to its width; also, the pyramidal or aspiring termination of a tower which can not be said to have a roof, such as that of Strasburg cathedral; the tapering part of a steeple, or the steeple itself. ``With glistering spires and pinnacles adorned.''

    A spire of land that stand apart, Cleft from the main.

    Tall spire from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the listening ear.

  3. (Mining) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the chargen in blasting.

  4. The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit.

    The spire and top of praises.


Spire \Spire\, n. [L. spira coil, twist; akin to Gr. ???: cf. F. spire.]

  1. A spiral; a curl; a whorl; a twist.

  2. (Geom.) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See Spiral, n.

    Spire bearer. (Paleon.) Same as Spirifer.


Spire \Spire\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Spired; p. pr. & vb. n. Spiring.] To shoot forth, or up in, or as if in, a spire.

It is not so apt to spire up as the other sorts, being more inclined to branch into arms.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English spir "a sprout, shoot, spike, blade, tapering stalk of grass," from Proto-Germanic *spiraz (cognates: Old Norse spira "a stalk, slender tree," Dutch spier "shoot, blade of grass," Middle Low German spir "a small point or top"), from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "tapering top of a tower or steeple" first recorded 1590s (a sense attested in Middle Low German since late 14c. and also found in the Scandinavian cognates).


early 14c., "send up shoots," from spire (n.). Related: Spired; spiring.


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context now rare English) 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.) vb. 1 Of a seed, plant etc.: to sprout, to send forth the early shoots of growth; to germinate. (from 14th c.) 2 To grow upwards rather than develop horizontally. (from 14th c.) Etymology 2

vb. (context intransitive obsolete English) To breathe. (14th-16th c.) Etymology 3

n. 1 One of the sinuous foldings of a serpent or other reptile; a coil. (from 16th c.) 2 A spiral. (from 17th c.) 3 (context geometry English) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole.


n. a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building (usually a church or temple) and that tapers to a point at the top [syn: steeple]


A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building, often a skyscraper or a church tower. Etymologically, the word is derived from the Old English word spir, meaning a sprout, shoot, or stalk of grass.

Currently, the largest spire to be part of the architecture of another building is the one mounted on the recently completed Q1 residential tower on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Spire (mollusc)

A spire is a part of the coiled shell of molluscs. The spire consists of all of the whorls except for the body whorl. Each spire whorl represents a rotation of 360°. A spire is part of the shell of a snail, a gastropod mollusc, a gastropod shell, and also the whorls of the shell in ammonites, which are fossil shelled cephalopods.

In textbook illustrations of gastropod shells, the tradition (with a few exceptions) is to show the majority of shells with the spire uppermost on the page.

The spire, when it is not damaged or eroded, includes the protoconch (also called the nuclear whorls or the larval shell), and most of the subsequent teleoconch whorls (also called the postnuclear whorls), which gradually increase in size as they are formed. Thus the spire in most gastropods is pointed, the tip being known as the " apex". The word "spire" is used, in an analogy to a church spire or rock spire, a high, thin, pinnacle.

The "spire angle" is the angle, as seen from the apex, at which a spire increases in size. It is an angle formed by imaginary lines tangent to the spire.

Some gastropod shells have very high spires (the shell is much higher than wide), some have low spires (the shell is much wider than high), and there are all possible grades between. In a few gastropod families the shells are not helical in their coiling, but instead are planispiral, flat-coiled. In these shells, the spire does not have a raised point, but instead is sunken.

Gastropod shells that are not spirally coiled (for example shells of limpets) have no columella.

Spire (disambiguation)

A spire is a tapering conical or pyramidal structure on the top of a building.

Spire may also refer to:

  • Spire of Dublin
  • Chicago Spire, a cancelled supertall skyscraper in Chicago
  • A Spire for Mansfield
  • Spire Healthcare, a British healthcare company
  • Spire (aerospace), a satellite-based data company
  • Spire (mollusc)
  • Spire (activity tracker)
  • SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver), an instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory
  • Systematic Protein Investigative Research Environment, a web-based experiment-specific mass spectrometry analysis site
  • Spire FM
  • Spire (social networking service)
  • The Spire, a 1964 novel by William Golding
  • The Spire (comics), a 2015 limited comics series
  • Spire Christian Comics
Spire (Atlanta)

Spire is a 453ft (138m) tall skyscraper in Atlanta, Georgia. It was built from 2004 to 2005 on the site of the former Atlanta Cabana Motel. It has 28 floors and is tied with the Equitable Building as the 21st tallest building in the city, and has 392 units.

Spire (Denver)

Spire is a high-rise building containing 496 condominium homes in Denver, Colorado, in the United States. Standing at 147.2 meters with 41 floors, Spire is the ninth tallest building in Denver and was designed by architecture firm RNL Design.

The building is at 14th Street and Champa Street in downtown Denver. It cost $175,000,000 to build, from 2007 to 2009. It is a LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building with of amenity space, including a gym, pools and a spa, a top floor lounge, and of shops on the ground floor. It contains one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. It is currently owned by P3 Development NA, Inc.

Spire (social networking service)

Spire, formerly known as LifeKraze, is a web-based social networking service founded in April 2010. Members share "real-world" personal accomplishments with their friends, and are rewarded by other members. Members can award each other points for each accomplishment. Members can use the points they've collected to buy rewards from brand partners.

Spire was founded by two Covenant College alumni, Ben Wagner and David Nielson, as the brainchild of their senior project in 2010. The site quickly developed into an expanding social media platform, gaining significant traction at South by Southwest in 2011, and continues to grow. On October 29, 2013 the named was changed from LifeKraze to Spire. With these changes was an updated logo, colors, and minor changes to the website and apps.

The site's membership is open to the general public, and is currently associated with dozens of brands. Spire launched an iOS app on the App Store on July 24, 2012, and an Android app on the Google Play store on January 23, 2013.

Spire (activity tracker)

Spire is a wearable activity tracker worn on the waistband or bra strap designed to analyze breath rates to determine levels of tension, calm, or focus.

Spire (synthesizer)

Spire was the first software synthesizer developed by Reveal Sound. The synthesizer utilizes multipurpose oscillators, filters, and effects units within a digital graphic interface. Spire combines elements from both Analog and software synthesizers. The synthesizer utilizes wavetable synthesis, which few commercially available software synthesizers offer. The software can be run by itself or within a digital audio workstation. The plugin has been used almost exclusively in dance music.

Usage examples of "spire".

At last, she found herself in a pleasant reception area, wide windows providing a spectacular view of the sunset over the crystal and ebony spires of the Allegiancy capital.

The Wanderer To see the clouds his spirit yearned toward so Over new mountains piled and unploughed waves, Back of old-storied spires and architraves To watch Arcturus rise or Fomalhaut, And roused by street-cries in strange tongues when day Flooded with gold some domed metropolis, Between new towers to waken and new bliss Spread on his pillow in a wondrous way: These were his joys.

He stopped, drew his shapes, walked on, stopped, drew, walked, on to the spired old-century cragginess of Nabob Bridge, and over quickly through Kinken where the richer khepri moieties, older money and arriviste, preserved their dreamed-up culture in the Plaza of Statues, kitsch mythic shapes in khepri-spit.

Beyond the short spire and its shining cock, rose the balls and stars and arrowy vanes of the House, glittering in gold and sunshine.

Thousands upon thousands the cones bristled, pyramiding to the base of one tremendous spire that tapered up almost to the top of the shaft itself.

Through the wooden lattice, beyond the water tanks and satellite dishes and kids playing rooftop cricket, I could see the ramparts of the Red Fort, the minarets and domes of the Jami Masjid and beyond them, the glittering glass and titanium spires of New Delhi.

The cathedral, with its arches and slender spires, rose before them in all its millenary splendor, dazzling and proud.

Spire likes to throw at us - the modifiers will give us an edge that we lacked previously.

The Grand Unctator of the Natural Rite will conduct the eulogy and guide his monic spire toward the Lambent Nescience.

Even through the darkness he was able to make out the winged shape clinging to the outswell of the rock spire some fifteen feet below him, almost in the manner of a bat clinging to the rough wall of a cave.

The panzer hurls itself above the rise again and skates along the edge of the red glare cast by the scattered chopper, heading for the spire of a silo in the distance.

It raised up even higher as they watched, yellow-brown in the harsh sunlight, its two sets of horns searching as its upper body waved from side to side, revealing a light external shell, a platelet with the merest hint of a spire.

The mareschal de Noailles, having secured the towns of Spire, Worms, and Oppenheim, passed the Rhine in the beginning of June, and posted himself on the east side of that river, above Franckfort.

It spired into the sky, columnar and prismoidal, light and dark bands alternating along its height.

Its spires jutted from the topside, and its entire circumference was surrounded with propulsory tentacles.