1. A mass of building standing alone and insulated, usually higher than its diameter, but when of great size not always of that proportion. A projection from a line of wall, as a fortification, for purposes of defense, as a flanker, either or the same height as the curtain wall or higher.

A structure appended to a larger edifice for a special purpose, as for a belfry, and then usually high in proportion to its width and to the height of the rest of the edifice; as, a church tower.

2. A citadel; a fortress; hence, a defense. "Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy." (Ps. Lxi. 3)

3. A headdress of a high or towerlike form, fashionable about the end of the seventeenth century and until 1715; also, any high headdress. "Lay trains of amorous intrigues In towers, and curls, and periwigs." (Hudibras)

4. High flight; elevation.

<chemistry> Gay Lussac's tower, a bastion of masonry, often with chambers beneath, built at an angle of the interior polygon of some works.

<botany> Tower mustard, the cruciferous plant Arabis perfoliata. Tower of London, a collection of buildings in the eastern part of London, formerly containing a state prison, and now used as an arsenal and repository of various objects of public interest.

Origin: OE. Tour,tor,tur, F. Tour, L. Turris; akin to Gr.; cf. W. Twr a tower, Ir. Tor a castle, Gael. Torr a tower, castle. Cf. Tor, Turret.

(01 Mar 1998)

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