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[min-uh-ret, min-uh-ret] /ˌmɪn əˈrɛt, ˈmɪn əˌrɛt/
a lofty, often slender, tower or turret attached to a mosque, surrounded by or furnished with one or more balconies, from which the muezzin calls the people to prayer.
1675-85; < French minaret, Spanish minarete, or Italian minarettoArabic manārah lighthouse, perhaps akin to nār fire
Related forms
minareted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for minarets
  • Five times a day muezzins call the faithful to prayer from minarets throughout the city.
  • The four minarets are among the tallest in the world, and the building dominates the city skyline.
  • The shadows of its minarets are slowly falling over us.
  • Surely you hear the muezzin's ancient call to prayer from atop the minarets.
  • Four spiny minarets quiver rhythmically alongside it.
  • Nestled in a high valley, it was resplendent with its domes and minarets.
  • Its gray granite walls contrast vividly with the sky-blue mosaics covering the dome and minarets.
  • At night, more than a million electric lights illuminated the park's towers and minarets.
  • Predictably, tolerance for minarets decreases with age, but increases with education.
British Dictionary definitions for minarets


/ˌmɪnəˈrɛt; ˈmɪnəˌrɛt/
a slender tower of a mosque having one or more balconies from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer
any structure resembling this
Derived Forms
minareted, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Turkish, from Arabic manārat lamp, from nār fire
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for minarets



1680s, from French minaret, from Turkish minare "a minaret," from Arabic manarah, manarat "lamp, lighthouse, minaret," related to manar "candlestick," derivative of nar "fire;" cf. Hebrew ner "lamp" (see menorah).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for minarets


(Arabic: "beacon"), in Islamic religious architecture, the tower from which the faithful are called to prayer five times each day by a muezzin, or crier. Such a tower is always connected with a mosque and has one or more balconies or open galleries. At the time of the Prophet Muhammad, the call to prayer was made from the highest roof in the vicinity of the mosque. The earliest minarets were former Greek watchtowers and the towers of Christian churches. The oldest minaret in North Africa is at al-Qayrawan, Tunisia. It was built between 724 and 727 and has a massive square form

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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