Origin: L. Spirare to breathe. See Spirit.
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.
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.
(Science: paleontology) same as spirifer.
Origin: L. Spira coil, twist; akin to Gr., cf. F. Spire.