Definition of tower in English:



  • 1A tall narrow building, either freestanding or forming part of a building such as a church or castle.

    • ‘Located between mid-rise warehouses and residential towers, this building mediates the variations in scale and context.’
    • ‘The castle has six towers and some twenty distinct roof forms.’
    • ‘It was completely surrounded by an ancient wall - with turrets and towers - and old churches and cobbled stone streets.’
    • ‘I imagined a massive white marble building with towers, turrets, the whole lot.’
    • ‘The database includes field elevation around the country, obstructions, buildings, tall towers and the like.’
    • ‘Higher buildings like church towers only have two traversable levels and much of the land is devoid of any low brush vegetation.’
    • ‘I look out the window, at the turrets and towers of the renovated castle, and wonder how I got here in the first place.’
    • ‘The Anglican Church has given its blessing for mobile phone masts to be erected in two of its church towers in Yorkshire - just as long as they're not used to transmit porn.’
    • ‘Climbing to the top of a tall building, a hill, or a church tower is a great way to get a feel for a place.’
    • ‘They are known to use many human structures like barns, church towers and ledges of tall buildings as their daytime roost.’
    • ‘The abbey buildings, huddled round the squat tower of the church, stood out sharp and clear against the pale outcrops of Dun-I hill.’
    • ‘It runs along something of a ridge so we could see for miles to villages betrayed by church towers and spires.’
    • ‘Lisbon is all pastel walls and soft light; Porto has a more northern feel, with its granite church towers and baroque treasures.’
    • ‘After that they started a long trek up to one of the tallest towers of the castle.’
    • ‘Most of the tall buildings and towers no longer stood.’
    • ‘A church tower crashed to the ground and a mosque's silver dome caved in.’
    • ‘It was in the tallest tower of the castle, and it was dimly lit.’
    • ‘Churches, with high towers on buildings right in the centre of their community, are seen as ideal locations for the next generation of communication masts.’
    • ‘Between them run narrow alleys affording breathtaking views over the roofscape and church towers of central Stockholm.’
    • ‘The principal vertical features are minarets or towers at corners (from which the faithful are called to prayer).’
    steeple, spire
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with modifier A tall structure that houses machinery, operators, etc.
      • ‘A single man oversaw the entire operation from the command tower.’
      • ‘The Liberation Tower is the fifth tallest communication tower in the world.’
      • ‘Future studies may potentially elucidate ways in which humans can alleviate the toll of communications towers on migrating birds.’
      • ‘Its most outstanding feature is the Turret House, built as a gatehouse and hunting tower and constructed in the French style, possibly due to Mary's influence.’
      • ‘At the end, it was estimated that there were fewer than two dozen radio towers in operation and calls had slowed to a trickle.’
      • ‘Operators of wind towers will tend to want to build them in mountainous areas with high winds and along shorelines and thereby ruin some beautiful scenic vistas.’
      • ‘On the right is the lifeguard tower and the Adamson House.’
      • ‘A company is building a huge cell phone tower across the road from my house and property at this very moment.’
      • ‘The men in the guard towers were waving their machine guns at us.’
      • ‘But the controversy centers on radio towers and other transmitters, not car-radio antennae.’
      • ‘When testing for the safety of cell sites in Australia researchers used the TV towers in North Sydney.’
      • ‘He got the fairgrounds, but other project aspects, such as a bid to build the world's tallest antenna tower, faltered.’
      • ‘Every cluster was in the vicinity of a cell tower, a radio or TV tower, or an amateur radio operator.’
      • ‘Here is a top-secret photo taken by one of our clandestine operatives of the guard tower at one of these camps.’
      • ‘Due to a hill between the television tower and my house, I rely on Austar for TV reception.’
      • ‘In the months and years to follow, it would harden into a massive barrier of concrete blocks, barbed wire, machine gun towers, and minefields.’
      • ‘Initiate a Notice of Inquiry to assess the impact of communications towers on migratory birds.’
      • ‘The armed separatist group placed bombs on two high-tension electricity towers run by grid operator Red Electrica.’
      • ‘The balloon hit this 700-foot tall radio tower during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.’
      • ‘Airport officials used another tower to maintain operations during the incident.’
    2. 1.2with modifier A tall structure used as a receptacle or for storage.
      ‘a CD tower’
      • ‘Police searched his house on March 4 this year and a computer tower and storage media were found containing 95 images in total.’
      • ‘Her CD collection was arranged alphabetically in a tall CD tower, and she always kept her favorite ones of the moment on the top.’
      • ‘The tall grain tower was hardly anywhere near civilization.’
    3. 1.3 A tall pile or mass of something.
      ‘a titanic tower of garbage’
      • ‘Invite the children to help you make a tower with the books and talk about favorite stories as you take the books out of the box.’
      • ‘There are mini backlit towers of wine bottles stacked behind the bar, and each place is set with a spotless wineglass and crisp, white linens.’
      • ‘I'd gone to interview her in 1994 and found a copy of it in a second-hand bookstore in Exmouth, crawling around on the floor to explore the towers of books haphazardly piled there.’
    4. 1.4the Tower
  • 2A place of defense; a protection.

    • ‘The Countess Beatriz de Bombadilla took refuge in the tower and she befriended Columbus.’
    • ‘The tower was used to protect the palace during war.’
    • ‘Early features of the town's defences were wooden towers positioned at main entry points into the town: the roads and the fleets.’
    • ‘Basic tools and pure muscle were used to construct everything from security towers to protective barriers fronted by razor wire.’
    • ‘Behind it, soaring for 70 metres into the sky, was the tower protecting the sanctum.’


  • 1Rise to or reach a great height.

    ‘he seemed to tower over everyone else’
    • ‘For the next two weeks it will tower over the stadium as it is used to manoeuvre the roof of the two-tier West Stand into place.’
    • ‘A couple of old fir trees tower over the field, and yes, there's a house, a driveway, a garage, all well-kept.’
    • ‘Its second-growth oaks, hickories, and sugar maples tower over the open pastures and fields of the lower slope and bottomland.’
    • ‘And every time we stand around the bar, they tower over me and block out the light.’
    • ‘Rising to a height of 6 or 7 feet, these drawings tower over the viewer.’
    • ‘A major housing development in Colchester will tower over nearby homes, residents claimed today.’
    • ‘You wish you were wearing the boots with three-inch heels instead of the boots with one-inch heels so you could tower over him even more than you already do.’
    • ‘It will tower over the community for years, a constant reminder of bureaucracy's triumph over democracy.’
    • ‘Here, sheer limestone cliffs tower over gentle pastures and provide what many people believe is the finest scenery in the Alps.’
    • ‘The group objected to the development's design and height, stating it would tower over the neighbourhood.’
    • ‘Big pines tower over the homes, flower boxes line stone walkways, and a wooden wagon wheel leans against one home in a gesture of artificial rusticity.’
    • ‘This time a massive hydrogen bomb lifts its manmade plumes until they tower over the natural clouds.’
    • ‘They fear the development will tower over the estate, reducing privacy and blocking light to nearby homes.’
    • ‘The trees which tower over the tables can't help but prove relaxing, something most desired when heading out for a drink after a long day.’
    • ‘Books tower over us and are crammed into every gap in the structure.’
    • ‘Tony towered over her, like he did while on the horse, like Fellini's women tower over him.’
    • ‘Your cool new platforms make you tower over the guys - so what?’
    • ‘Bangalore is a city that just grows on you, the way its trees have grown, to tower over the landscape.’
    • ‘They will tower over drivers from either side of slip road exits and entrances at junction three for the 12-month trial period.’
    • ‘The weakness of the mother (who is admittedly ill) in comparison to her son allows the male to tower over the female.’
    soar, rise, loom, ascend, mount, rear, reach high, stand high
    View synonyms
  • 2(of a bird) soar to a great height, especially (of a falcon) so as to be able to swoop down on the quarry.

    • ‘The big ticket item was a US Air Force B1 Bomber, which towered over the surrounding displays like a massive bird of prey.’


Old English torr, reinforced in Middle English by Old French tour, from Latin turris, from Greek.