very high or tall; lofty: a towering oak.
surpassing others; very great: a towering figure in American poetry.
rising to an extreme degree of violence or intensity: a towering rage.
beyond the proper or usual limits; inordinate; excessive: towering pride; towering ambitions.

1400–50; late Middle English; see tower1, -ing2

toweringly, adverb

1. elevated. See high.

1. short. Unabridged


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

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tower (ˈtaʊə)
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
5.  (intr) to be or rise like a tower; loom
[C12: from Old French tur, from Latin turris, from Greek]

towering (ˈtaʊərɪŋ)
1.  very tall; lofty
2.  outstanding, as in importance or stature
3.  (prenominal) very intense: a towering rage

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

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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Example sentences
There was molten chocolate bubbling in vats towering above me, vats so huge that they had ladders running up their sides.
All paths to peace seem momentarily to be blocked by towering obstacles-even the ancient and oft-trodden highway of war.
It appears to be the sunniest patch amid the towering trees, warmed by a bit of
  cement path.
The towering image is an auspicious sign for the half a dozen couples who
  eagerly wait their turn for a consultation.
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