a marking post or tower for guiding aviators, frequently used in races.
a relatively tall structure at the side of a gate, bridge, or avenue, marking an entrance or approach.
a monumental tower forming the entrance to an ancient Egyptian temple, consisting either of a pair of tall quadrilateral masonry masses with sloping sides and a doorway between them or of one such mass pierced with a doorway.
a steel tower or mast carrying high-tension lines, telephone wires, or other cables and lines.
Aeronautics. a finlike device used to attach engines, auxiliary fuel tanks, bombs, etc., to an aircraft wing or fuselage.

1840–50; < Greek pylṓn gateway, gate tower Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pylon (ˈpaɪlən)
1.  a large vertical steel tower-like structure supporting high-tension electrical cables
2.  a post or tower for guiding pilots or marking a turning point in a race
3.  a streamlined aircraft structure for attaching an engine pod, external fuel tank, etc, to the main body of the aircraft
4.  a monumental gateway, such as one at the entrance to an ancient Egyptian temple
5.  a temporary artificial leg
[C19: from Greek pulōn a gateway]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1823, "gateway to an Egyptian temple," from Gk. pylon "gateway," from pyle "gate," of unknown origin. Meaning "tower for guiding aviators" (1909) led to that of "steel tower for high-tension wires" (1923).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Simply make it a legal requirement to put a wind turbine on every new
  electricity pylon, for instance.
He's trying to sell the corner that he's running the fade route to the pylon in
  the back corner of the end zone.
In season, you can watch the local ospreys nesting atop a pylon through a
The examinee runs from the starting pylon, to the far pylon, around it and back
  to the starting pylon.
Related Words
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