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Spires

spire

To breathe.

Origin: L. Spirare to breathe. See Spirit.

1. A slender stalk or blade in vegetation; as, a spire grass or of wheat. An oak cometh up a little spire. (Chaucer)

2. A tapering body that shoots up or out to a point in a conical or pyramidal form. Specifically, 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. (Tennyson) Tall spire from which the sound of cheerful bells just undulates upon the listening ear. (Cowper)

3. (Science: chemical) A tube or fuse for communicating fire to the chargen in blasting.

4. The top, or uppermost point, of anything; the summit. The spire and top of praises. (Shak)

Origin: OE. Spire, spir, a blade of grass, a young shoot, AS. Spir; akin to G. Spier a blade of grass, Dan. Spire a sprout, sprig, Sw. Spira a spar, Icel. Spira.

1. A spiral; a curl; a whorl; a twist.

2. (Science: geometry) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See Spiral, Spire bearer.

(Science: paleontology) same as spirifer.

Origin: L. Spira coil, twist; akin to Gr., cf. F. Spire.


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