spire
Pronunciation
  • (RP) enPR spīr, IPA: /spaɪə/, /ˈspaɪə/
  • (GA) enPR spīr, IPA: /spaɪɹ/, /ˈspaɪɚ/
Noun

spire (plural spires)

  1. (now rare) The stalk or stem of a plant. [from 10th c.]
  2. A young shoot of a plant; a spear. [from 14th c.]
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 12
      Clara had pulled a button from a hollyhock spire, and was breaking it to get the seeds.
  3. Any of various tall grasses, rushes, or sedges, such as the marram, the reed canary-grass, etc.
  4. A sharp or tapering point. [from 16th c.]
  5. A tapering structure built on a roof or tower, especially as one of the central architectural features of a church or cathedral roof. [from 16th c.]
    The spire of the church rose high above the town.
  6. The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit. [from 17th c.]
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ix]:
      the spire and top of praises
  7. (mining) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the charge in blasting.
Translations Translations Verb

spire (spires, present participle spiring; past and past participle spired)

  1. (of a seed, plant etc.) to sprout, to send forth the early shoots of growth; to germinate. [from 14th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.5:
      In gentle Ladies breste and bounteous race / Of woman kind it fayrest Flowre doth spyre, / And beareth fruit of honour and all chast desyre.
    • It is not so apt to spire up as the other sorts, being more inclined to branch into arms.
  2. To grow upwards rather than develop horizontally. [from 14th c.]
  3. (transitive) To furnish with a spire.
Verb

spire (spires, present participle spiring; past and past participle spired)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To breathe. [14th-16th c.]
Noun

spire (plural spires)

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



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