• Showing chevet and polygonal spire
    Showing chevet and polygonal spire
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n spire a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building (usually a church or temple) and that tapers to a point at the top
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Showing arches in the walls climbing up to the spire Showing arches in the walls climbing up to the spire

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Although construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg started in 1015, it was not until 1439 that the spire was completed.
    • Spire A slender stalk or blade in vegetation; as, a spire grass or of wheat. "An oak cometh up a little spire ."
    • Spire A spiral; a curl; a whorl; a twist.
    • Spire A tapering body that shoots up or out to a point in a conical or pyramidal form. Specifically Arch, the roof of a tower when of a pyramidal form and high in proportion to its width; also, the pyramidal or aspiring termination of a tower which can not be said to have a roof, such as that of Strasburg cathedral; the tapering part of a steeple, or the steeple itself. "With glistering spires and pinnacles adorned.""A spire of land that stand apart,
      Cleft from the main."
      "Tall spire from which the sound of cheerful bells
      Just undulates upon the listening ear."
    • Spire (Mining) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the chargen in blasting.
    • Spire (Geom) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See Spiral n.
    • Spire The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit. "The spire and top of praises."
    • v. i Spire To breathe.
    • v. i Spire To shoot forth, or up in, or as if in, a spire. "It is not so apt to spire up as the other sorts, being more inclined to branch into arms."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In the original architectural design, the French Cathedral of Chartes had six spires (It was built with two spires).
    • n spire A sprout or shoot of a plant.
    • n spire A stalk of grass or some similar plant; a spear.
    • n spire The continuation of the trunk in a more or less excurrent tree above the point where branching begins.
    • n spire A name of various tall grasses, as the marram, Ammophila arundinacea; the reed canary-grass, Phalaris arundinacea; and the common reed, Phragmites communis. Britten and Holland, Eng. Plant Names.
    • n spire In mining, the tube carrying the train to the charge in the blast-hole: so called from the spires of grass or rushes used for the purpose. Also called reed or rush. A body that shoots up to a point; a tapering body; a conical or pyramidal body; specifically, in architecture, the tapering part of a steeple rising above the tower; a steeple; the great pinnacle, often of wood covered with lead, frequently crowning the crossing of the nave in large churches. The earliest spires, in the architectural sense, were merely pyramidal or conical roofs, specimens of which exist in some of the oldest Romanesque buildings. These roofs, becoming gradually elongated and more and more acute, resulted at length in the graceful tapering spire. Among the many existing medieval examples, that of Salisbury Cathedral is one of the finest; that of Senlis Cathedral, France, though not of great size, is one of the earliest of fully developed spires, and is admired for the purity and elegance of its design. The spires of medieval architecture are generally square, octagonal, or circular in plan; they are sometimes solid, more frequently hollow, and are variously ornamented with bands encircling them, with panels more or less enriched, and with piercings and spire-lights, which are of infinite variety. Their angles are sometimes crocketed, and they are often terminated by a finial. In later examples the general pyramidal outline is obtained by diminishing the diameter of the structure in successive stages, and this has been imitated in modern spires, in which the forms and details of classic architecture have been applied to an architectural creation essentially medieval. The term spire is sometimes restricted to signify such tapering structures, crowning towers or turrets, as have parapets at their base, while when the spire rises from the exterior of the wall of the tower, without the intervention of a parapet, it is called a broach. See also cuts under broach, 10, rood-steeple, and transept.
    • n spire The top or uppermost point of a thing; the summit.
    • spire To sprout, as grain in malting.
    • spire To shoot; shoot up sharply.
    • spire To shoot or send forth.
    • spire To furnish with a spire or spires.
    • n spire A winding line like the thread of a screw; anything wreathed or contorted; a coil; a curl; a twist; a wreath; a spiral.
    • n spire In conchology, all the whorls of a spiral univalve above the aperture or the body-whorl, taken together as forming a turret. In most cases the spire is exserted from the last turn of the shell, giving the ordinary turreted conical or helicoid form of numberless gastropods; and in some long slender forms, of many turns and with small aperture, the spire makes most of the length of the shell, as figured at Cerithium, Cylindrella, and Terebra, for example. In other cases, however, the spire scarcely protrudes from the body-whorl, and it may be even entirely included or contained in the latter, so that a depression or other formation occupies the usual position of the apex of the shell. (Compare cuts under cowry, Cypræa, Cymbium, and Ovulum.) See also cut under univalve.
    • n spire In mathematics, a point at which different leaves of a Riemann's surface are connected. Also called a spiral point.
    • spire To breathe.
    • spire A Middle English form of speer.
    • n spire The male of the red deer, Cervus elaphus, in its third year.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Spire spīr a winding line like the threads of a screw: a curl: a wreath: a tapering body, a slender stalk, a shoot or sprout: any one of various tall grasses, rushes, or sedges—the Marram, Reed canary-grass, &c.: the top or summit of anything: a very acute pyramidal roof in common use over the towers of churches
    • v.i Spire to sprout, shoot up
    • v.t Spire to furnish with a spire
    • ***


  • Heinrich Heine
    “The weather-cock on the church spire, though made of iron, would soon be broken by the storm-wind if it did not understand the noble art of turning to every wind.”
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    “An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches with spire steeples which point as with a silent finger to the sky and stars.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. spire, spir, a blade of grass, a young shoot, AS. spīr,; akin to G. spier, a blade of grass, Dan. spire, a sprout, sprig, Sw. spira, a spar, Icel. spīra,


In literature:

Was not the spire introduced at this period?
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed." by Matthew Holbeche Bloxam
The church spires stood up undamaged like those of some quiet hamlet in England.
"The Great War As I Saw It" by Frederick George Scott
The additional wooden spire, and the inequality of the towers produce rather an unfavourable effect.
"The Stranger in France" by John Carr
Its tower and spire, rising to the height of 150 feet, can be seen for some distance.
"Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney" by Geraldine Edith Mitton
In 1456, the lofty spire was struck by lightning, and one hundred feet fell upon the south aisle.
"Young Americans Abroad" by Various
The spire was, we believe, finally removed about the end of the last century.
"Ely Cathedral" by Anonymous
The tower has a lofty spire.
"Mayfair, Belgravia, and Bayswater" by Geraldine Edith Mitton
Over the crossing rise the tower and spire, 217 feet high.
"Scottish Cathedrals and Abbeys" by Dugald Butler and Herbert Story
These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
"Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz" by L. Frank Baum
Trees and spires, sands, cliffs, cottages, and the canoes with bright-coloured paddlers, are all reflected in the smooth water.
"From Edinburgh to India & Burmah" by William G. Burn Murdoch
Nor is the spire the only ecclesiastical form deducible from domestic architecture.
"Lectures on Architecture and Painting" by John Ruskin
The first idea was doubtless to add a lantern after the style of Ely, or at most a wooden spire.
"Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Salisbury" by Gleeson White
And as we pass by on the railway and look up, the two graceful spires of the church of Our Lady seem quite worthy of their position.
"Sketches of Travel in Normandy and Maine" by Edward A. Freeman
This is entirely gilt, from base to spire, and presents an imposing appearance.
"Travels in the Far East" by Ellen Mary Hayes Peck
At last we came in sight of a tall spire.
"Rollo in Scotland" by Jacob Abbott
The spire of smoke was attended now by smaller spires and Wareville could not be more than three miles away.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Behind them the City was losing itself in the sombre tones of night, its black spires disappearing into darkness.
"The Crystal Crypt" by Philip Kindred Dick
It lay now on the crater floor with its nose bashed into an upflung spire of rock.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
Another striking feature is the immense number of spires.
"John and Betty's History Visit" by Margaret Williamson
Beyond the promontory a great spire lifted high above the canyon; I climbed to its top.
"A Mountain Boyhood" by Joe Mills

In poetry:

The embers of the sunset's fires
Along the clouds burned down;
"I see," he said, "the domes and spires
Of Norembega town."
"Norembega" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Of human signs it sees alone
The distant church spire's tip,
And, ghost-like, on a blank of gray,
The white sail of a ship.
"Birchbrook Mill" by John Greenleaf Whittier
And tower, and spire, and lofty dome
In brightest skies are gleaming;
Walk I, to-day, the ways of Rome,
Or am I only dreaming?
"In Rome" by Abram Joseph Ryan
“And I have brought a budding world,
Of orchis spires and daisies rank,
And ferny plumes but half uncurled,
From yonder bank;
"The Letter L" by Jean Ingelow
The sinking moon, with fading scars,
Hath touched their frosty spires;
Around them pale the wearied stars,
Like waning bivouac fires.
"The Mountains Of Meran At Sunrise" by John Lawson Stoddard
THE moonlight filled the waters and the strand;
The floating spires gleamed toward the starry land;
Pale Hero seemed upon her Sestian height
To stand with torch alight.
"Silence And Solitude" by Annie Adams Fields

In news:

As-Spiring Bill Collectors: Who Are Spire 's Top Creditors.
Spire 's in-house design manager.
The ill-fated Chicago Spire .
C Spire , a wireless carrier you've probably never heard of, announced Wednesday that it will become the fourth US wireless provider to sell the iPhone 4S.
The SPIRE Institute will host the Mid-American Conference Volleyball Tournament from Nov 16-18.
C Spire hires Alcatel-Lucent for LTE build.
01-04 (Chicago Tribune) A helicopter is used to lift sections of the Trump Tower spire into place.
NEW YORK (AP) The giant spire that will top 1 World Trade Center is making its way to Manhattan.
NEW YORK (AP) — The giant spire that will top 1 World Trade Center is making its way to Manhattan.
Sprint, C Spire Can Sue to Stop AT&T, T-Mobile Deal.
Spire for 1 WTC making its way to NYC by barge heading south from Canada.
According to the Port Authority, the spires are scheduled to reach Port Newark next week.
NEW YORK (AP) — The giant spire that will top One World Trade Center is making its way to Manhattan during the holiday weekend.
Spire for One World Trade Center arrives in NYC.
Because the spire 's nine pieces were too heavy to be driven in — the heaviest piece weighing 70 tons — the pieces were loaded up onto a barge in Canada on Nov 16 and made the 1,500-mile boat ride to New York Harbor.

In science:

This low temperature agrees with the statistical results in Planck Collaboration (2011c), and the temperatures of 22.3 − 25.6 K found by recent Herschel SPIRE observations of the outskirts of M82 (Roussel et al. 2010), although it is substantially lower than the standard values in the literature of ∼45 K (e.g.
Radio to infrared spectra of late-type galaxies with Planck and WMAP data
The far-infrared SFRs of the SMGs, measured using Herschel-SPIRE⋆ farinfrared photometry, are on average 370±90 M⊙yr−1 which is ∼2 times higher than the extinction corrected SFRs of the more quiescent star-forming galaxies.
Integral Field Spectroscopy of 2.0
Herschel-SPIRE fluxes are available for the majority of the sources (Table 1) enabling the far-infrared luminosities of the samples to be derived directly.
Integral Field Spectroscopy of 2.0
We extract the SPIRE fluxes at th e positions of our SMGs (Table 1) and fit modi fied black-bodies to the photometry at the known redshift.
Integral Field Spectroscopy of 2.0
We therefore anticipate that SPIRE probes the cool dust emission associated with starformation activity, and the total SFR can be measured using these data.
Concurrent Supermassive Black Hole and Galaxy Growth: Linking Environment and Nuclear Activity in z = 2.23 H-alpha Emitters
Errors on mean SPIRE flux represent the cal MBH /Mgal relation (H äring & Rix 2004) for AGN with <∼ 1044 ergs s-1 .
Concurrent Supermassive Black Hole and Galaxy Growth: Linking Environment and Nuclear Activity in z = 2.23 H-alpha Emitters
The details of all PACS and SPIRE data reduction steps, including error estimation, can be found in R´emy-Ruyer et al. (2013).
A multi-wavelength study of the Magellanic-type galaxy NGC 4449. I. Modelling the spectral energy distribution, the ionisation structure and the star formation history
The steps up to Level 1 were identical to those in the original pipeline provided by the SPIRE Instrument Control Center (ICC).
A multi-wavelength study of the Magellanic-type galaxy NGC 4449. I. Modelling the spectral energy distribution, the ionisation structure and the star formation history
The uncertainties include the revised overall calibration uncertainties at 7 per cent in all SPIRE bands (Griffin & Lim 2011).
A multi-wavelength study of the Magellanic-type galaxy NGC 4449. I. Modelling the spectral energy distribution, the ionisation structure and the star formation history
The work in this paper is based on data obtained from the SPIRES database of papers in high energy physics.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment
As suggested in the introduction, most (i.e., approximately three-quarters) of the papers in SPIRES are dead.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment
Guided by the SPIRES data, we assume that this probability is proportional to 1/(k + 1) for a paper with k real citations.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment
We now return to the full model and compare it to the data from SPIRES.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment
However, the numerical success of the present model does not indicate the absence of additional correlations in the SPIRES data.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment
This belief is supported by the SPIRES data and will be treated in a subsequent publication.
Life, Death and Preferential Attachment