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c.1200, from Old French piler "pillar, column, pier" (12c., Modern French pilier) and directly from Medieval Latin pilare, from Latin pila "pillar, stone barrier." Figurative sense of "prop or support of an institution or community" is first recorded early 14c. Phrase pillar to post is c.1600, originally of tennis, exact meaning obscure.
pillar pil·lar (pĭl'ər)
A structure or part that provides support and resembles a column or pillar.
used to support a building (Judg. 16:26, 29); as a trophy or memorial (Gen. 28:18; 35:20; Ex. 24:4; 1 Sam. 15:12, A.V., "place," more correctly "monument," or "trophy of victory," as in 2 Sam. 18:18); of fire, by which the Divine Presence was manifested (Ex. 13:2). The "plain of the pillar" in Judg. 9:6 ought to be, as in the Revised Version, the "oak of the pillar", i.e., of the monument or stone set up by Joshua (24:26).