Origin: L. Spirare to breathe. See Spirit.
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)
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.
Origin: L. Spira coil, twist; akin to Gr., cf. F. Spire.
(01 Mar 1998)
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