American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A top part or point that tapers upward; a pinnacle.
- n. A structure or formation, such as a steeple, that tapers to a point at the top.
- n. A slender, tapering part, such as a newly sprouting blade of grass.
- v. To furnish with a spire.
- v. To rise and taper steeply.
- n. A spiral.
- n. A single turn of a spiral; a whorl.
- n. The area farthest from the aperture and nearest the apex on a coiled gastropod shell.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sprout or shoot of a plant.
- n. A stalk of grass or some similar plant; a spear.
- n. The continuation of the trunk in a more or less excurrent tree above the point where branching begins.
- n. A name of various tall grasses, as the marram, Ammophila arundinacea; the reed canary-grass, Phalaris arundinacea; and the common reed, Phragmites communis. Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant Names.
- n. In mining, the tube carrying the train to the charge in the blast-hole: so called from the spires of grass or rushes used for the purpose. Also called reed or rush. A body that shoots up to a point; a tapering body; a conical or pyramidal body; specifically, in architecture, the tapering part of a steeple rising above the tower; a steeple; the great pinnacle, often of wood covered with lead, frequently crowning the crossing of the nave in large churches. The earliest spires, in the architectural sense, were merely pyramidal or conical roofs, specimens of which exist in some of the oldest Romanesque buildings. These roofs, becoming gradually elongated and more and more acute, resulted at length in the graceful tapering spire. Among the many existing medieval examples, that of Salisbury Cathedral is one of the finest; that of Senlis Cathedral, France, though not of great size, is one of the earliest of fully developed spires, and is admired for the purity and elegance of its design. The spires of medieval architecture are generally square, octagonal, or circular in plan; they are sometimes solid, more frequently hollow, and are variously ornamented with bands encircling them, with panels more or less enriched, and with piercings and spire-lights, which are of infinite variety. Their angles are sometimes crocketed, and they are often terminated by a finial. In later examples the general pyramidal outline is obtained by diminishing the diameter of the structure in successive stages, and this has been imitated in modern spires, in which the forms and details of classic architecture have been applied to an architectural creation essentially medieval. The term spire is sometimes restricted to signify such tapering structures, crowning towers or turrets, as have parapets at their base, while when the spire rises from the exterior of the wall of the tower, without the intervention of a parapet, it is called a broach. See also cuts under
broach, 10, rood-steeple, and transept.
- n. The top or uppermost point of a thing; the summit.
- To sprout, as grain in malting.
- To shoot; shoot up sharply.
- To shoot or send forth.
- To furnish with a spire or spires.
- n. A winding line like the thread of a screw; anything wreathed or contorted; a coil; a curl; a twist; a wreath; a spiral.
- n. In conchology, all the whorls of a spiral univalve above the aperture or the body-whorl, taken together as forming a turret. In most cases the spire is exserted from the last turn of the shell, giving the ordinary turreted conical or helicoid form of numberless gastropods; and in some long slender forms, of many turns and with small aperture, the spire makes most of the length of the shell, as figured at Cerithium, Cylindrella, and Terebra, for example. In other cases, however, the spire scarcely protrudes from the body-whorl, and it may be even entirely included or contained in the latter, so that a depression or other formation occupies the usual position of the apex of the shell. (Compare cuts under cowry, Cypræa, Cymbium, and Ovulum.) See also cut under
- n. In mathematics, a point at which different leaves of a Riemann's surface are connected. Also called a spiral point.
- To breathe.
- A Middle English form of speer.
- n. The male of the red deer, Cervus elaphus, in its third year.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. obsolete To breathe.
- n. A slender stalk or blade in vegetation.
- n. A tapering body that shoots up or out to a point in a conical or pyramidal form. Specifically (Arch.), 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.
- n. (Mining) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the chargen in blasting.
- n. The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit.
- v. To shoot forth, or up in, or as if in, a spire.
- n. A spiral; a curl; a whorl; a twist.
- n. (Geom.) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See Spiral, n.
- n. a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building (usually a church or temple) and that tapers to a point at the top
- From Middle French spire. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English spīr.Latin spīra, coil, from Greek speira. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“‘drop’; ‘wreathe’ and ‘writhe’; ‘spear’ and ‘spire’ (“the least _spire_ of grass”, South); ‘trist’ and ‘trust’; ‘band’, ‘bend’ and ‘bond’;”
“It will drive a 55 grain spire point at 3900 fps with H414.”
“You can read more about why the spire is twisted here.”
“I also get great accuracy out of Hornady 117 grain spire points over 48. 5g of IMR4350.”
“The shell is cylindrical, dense and heavy; the spire is short, with channelled sutures, and the aperture long and narrow; the anterior part is notched; the columella is callous and striated obliquely.”
“The spire is the knee joint from the leg of the lubber grasshopper mentioned above.”
“The mount of the cones had become a mighty pyramid of pale green radiance — one tremendous, pallid flame, of which the spire was the tongue.”
“This old church is very large, and has a high spire, which is a useful sea-mark.”
“The cathedral is famous for the height of its spire, which is without exception the highest and the handsomest in England, being from the ground 410 feet, and yet the walls so exceeding thin that at the upper part of the spire, upon a view made by the late Sir”
“The throne's high stone back rose into a spire, a good three yards high, and at the tip of the spire was a shimmering blue crystal star.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘spire’.
English words of Anglo-Saxon origin.
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Grateful credit to http://reocities.com/SoHo/Studios/9783/phond1.html.
Even if you know your Nosferatu from your Dracula, you may not have heard of these before. (Thanks to bilby for the list suggestion on Transpire.)
Temporary list is temporary.
Collecting a few words here, which are then to be alloted to other lists.
My big word list.
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Looking for tweets for spire.