Definition of minaret in US English:



  • A tall slender tower, typically part of a mosque, with a balcony from which a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer.

    • ‘Almost every child grew up in an environment that included the call to prayer from the minarets of the mosques and the ringing of the church bells from church steeples.’
    • ‘They are summoned to prayer by the call of a muezzin issuing from the minarets of the many mosques that dot the Palestinian skyline.’
    • ‘At the western end of the Chandni Chowk stands the Fatehpuri Mosque with its two minarets, three domes, the bounding wall and the entrance gate.’
    • ‘Her book on Sinan is a complete contrast to the countless coffee table books with stunning photographs of domed mosques and pointed minarets.’
    • ‘The slender minaret of a mosque and the spires of churches rise in sharp relief over the flat roofs of the homes.’
    • ‘Mosque minarets across Beirut blared out readings from the Koran.’
    • ‘At first it seems that the opposition was based on two major issues: parking and traffic; and the noise from Azaan, the call to prayer that rings out five times a day from the minarets of mosques.’
    • ‘Throughout the gently crumbling souks, which offer gold jewellery, striped silk wedding shawls and carefully worked metal trays and giant crescent ornaments for mosque minarets, we are surprised at the lack of attention paid to us.’
    • ‘During the Samanid period, baked brick was used in the construction of mosques, minarets, and mausoleums; calligraphic inscriptions were used to decorate walls.’
    • ‘The quake caused 15 buildings and the minarets of four mosques to collapse in Bolvadin, located about a three-hour drive from the capital Ankara.’
    • ‘Mosul University library, with its rare manuscripts, was also sacked, despite appeals blared from the mosque minarets to the people to stop destroying their city, the Arab TV network al-Jazeera reported.’
    • ‘In Bethlehem, there are about as many church steeples as there are mosque minarets.’
    • ‘Mosques typically include domes and minarets; minarets are used for the call to prayer, and domes signal a place of prayer and Islamic education.’
    • ‘On July 10, the muezzin called for the Muslim prayers from the minarets of Grenada's grand mosque once again after nearly 500 years of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula.’
    • ‘Nor is it a different truth just because some culture from the past carved it into a huge Buddha statue on the rock, while his own would build it instead into a graceful mosque with minarets.’
    • ‘I think the only other mosque with six minarets is the one at Mecca.’
    • ‘The great white marble dome of the mausoleum is flanked by free-standing minarets from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer.’
    • ‘It is also seen in the style of some mosques and minarets with their slim and ornate shapes, as well as in public buildings such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in Qurm.’
    • ‘One of the best shots in the film is of a church spire which pans up to reveal the minaret of the mosque just behind.’
    • ‘The plaques bearing Quranic calligraphy in homes, canopied gravestones, the call of the muezzins arising out of the pencilled minarets of the mosque further confirm it.’
    turret, spire, belfry, obelisk, needle, pyramid, cone, finial, shikara, mirador
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Late 17th century: from French, or from Spanish minarete, Italian minaretto, via Turkish from Arabic manār(a) ‘lighthouse, minaret’, based on nār ‘fire or light’.