To breathe.

Origin: L. Spirare to breathe. See Spirit.

1. A slender stalk or blade in vegetation; as, a spire grass or of wheat. "An oak cometh up a little spire." (Chaucer)

2. A tapering body that shoots up or out to a point in a conical or pyramidal form. Specifically, 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." (Tennyson) "Tall spire from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the listening ear." (Cowper)

3. <chemical>

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." (Shak)

Origin: OE. Spire, spir, a blade of grass, a young shoot, AS. Spir; akin to G. Spier a blade of grass, Dan. Spire a sprout, sprig, Sw. Spira a spar, Icel. Spira.

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

2. <geometry> The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See Spiral, Spire bearer.

<paleontology> Same as Spirifer.

Origin: L. Spira coil, twist; akin to Gr., cf. F. Spire.

(01 Mar 1998)

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