tower of strength

tower

1 [tou-er]
noun
1.
a building or structure high in proportion to its lateral dimensions, either isolated or forming part of a building.
2.
such a structure used as or intended for a stronghold, fortress, prison, etc.
3.
any of various fully enclosed fireproof housings for vertical communications, as staircases, between the stories of a building.
4.
any structure, contrivance, or object that resembles or suggests a tower.
5.
a tall, movable structure used in ancient and medieval warfare in storming a fortified place.
6.
a tall, vertical case with accessible horizontal drive bays, designed to house a computer system standing on a desk or floor. Compare minitower.
7.
Aviation. control tower.
verb (used without object)
8.
to rise or extend far upward, as a tower; reach or stand high: The skyscraper towers above the city.
9.
to rise above or surpass others: She towers above the other students.
10.
Falconry. (of a hawk) to rise straight into the air; to ring up.
Idioms
11.
tower of strength, a person who can be relied on for support, aid, or comfort, especially in times of difficulty.

Origin:
before 900; (noun) Middle English tour, earlier tur, tor < Old French < Latin turris < Greek týrris, variant of týrsis tower; Middle English tor perhaps in some cases continuing Old English torr < Latin turris, as above; (v.) late Middle English touren, derivative of the noun

towerless, adjective
towerlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tower (ˈtaʊə)
 
n
1.  a tall, usually square or circular structure, sometimes part of a larger building and usually built for a specific purpose: a church tower; a control tower
2.  a place of defence or retreat
3.  a mobile structure used in medieval warfare to attack a castle, etc
4.  tower of strength a person who gives support, comfort, etc
 
vb
5.  (intr) to be or rise like a tower; loom
 
[C12: from Old French tur, from Latin turris, from Greek]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tower
O.E. torr, from L. turris "high structure" (cf. O.Fr. tor, 11c.; Sp., It. torre "tower"), possibly from a pre-I.E. Mediterranean language. Also borrowed separately 13c. as tour, from O.Fr. tur. The modern spelling first recorded in 1520s. Meaning "lofty pile or mass" is recorded from mid-14c. The verb
is attested from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tower of strength

A dependable person on whom one can lean in time of trouble, as in After Dad died Grandma was a tower of strength for the whole family. This expression, first recorded in 1549, originally was used most often to refer to God and heaven, but Shakespeare had it differently in Richard III (5:3): "Besides, the King's name is a tower of strength."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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