1 [spahyuhr]
a tall, acutely pointed pyramidal roof or rooflike construction upon a tower, roof, etc.
a similar construction forming the upper part of a steeple. See illus. under steeple.
a tapering, pointed part of something; a tall, sharp-pointed summit, peak, or the like: the distant spires of the mountains.
the highest point or summit of something: the spire of a hill; the spire of one's profession.
a sprout or shoot of a plant, as an acrospire of grain or a blade or spear of grass.
verb (used without object), spired, spiring.
to shoot or rise into spirelike form; rise or extend to a height in the manner of a spire.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English spīr spike, blade; cognate with Middle Dutch spier, Middle Low German spīr shoot, sprout, sprig, Old Norse spīra stalk

spireless, adjective
unspiring, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [spahyuhr]
a coil or spiral.
one of the series of convolutions of a coil or spiral.
Zoology. the upper, convoluted part of a spiral shell, above the aperture.

1565–75; < Latin spīra < Greek speîra; see spiral

spireless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spire1 (spaɪə)
1.  Also called: steeple a tall structure that tapers upwards to a point, esp one on a tower or roof or one that forms the upper part of a steeple
2.  a slender tapering shoot or stem, such as a blade of grass
3.  the apical part of any tapering formation; summit
4.  (intr) to assume the shape of a spire; point up
5.  (tr) to furnish with a spire or spires
[Old English spīr blade; related to Old Norse spīra stalk, Middle Low German spīr shoot, Latin spīna thorn]

spire2 (spaɪə)
1.  any of the coils or turns in a spiral structure
2.  the apical part of a spiral shell
[C16: from Latin spīra a coil, from Greek speira]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. spir "sprout, shoot, stalk of grass," from P.Gmc. *spiraz (cf. O.N. spira "a stalk, slender tree," M.L.G. spir "a small point or top"), from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "tapering top of a tower or steeple" first recorded 1590s (a sense attested
in M.L.G. since late 14c. and also found in the Scandinavian cognates). The verb is first recorded early 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The showy lantern tower of the tallest spire glowed with a nighttime torch when
  the king was in.
There are far easier ways of attaching a decorative spire to the top of a
The church has no spire and little architectural drama.
The murals of the marble and granite lobby were restored, and the stainless
  steel eagles and spire regained their glint.
Image for spire
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