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 (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." Milton.
A spire of land that stand apart,Tennyson.
Cleft from the main.
Tall spire from which the sound of cheerful bellsCowper.
Just undulates upon the listening ear.
3. (Mining) 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.
(Spire), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Spired ; p. pr. & vb. n. Spiring.] To shoot forth, or up in, or as if
in, a spire. Emerson.
It is not so apt to spire up as the other sorts, being more inclined to branch into arms.Mortimer.
(Spire), n. [L. spira coil, twist; akin to Gr. : cf. F. spire.]
1. A spiral; a curl; a whorl; a twist. Dryden.
2. (Geom.) The part of a spiral generated in one revolution of the straight line about the pole. See
Spire bearer. (Paleon.) Same as Spirifer.
(Spired) a. Having a spire; being in the form of a spire; as, a spired steeple. Mason.
(Spi"ri*cle) n. [Dim., fr. L. spira a coil.] (Bot.) One of certain minute coiled threads in the
coating of some seeds. When moistened these threads protrude in great numbers. Gray.
(Spi"ri*fer) n. [NL., fr. L. spira a coil + ferreto bear.] (Paleon.) Any one of numerous species
of fossil brachipods of the genus Spirifer, or Delthyris, and allied genera, in which the long calcareous
supports of the arms form a large spiral, or helix, on each side.
(||Spi*ril"lum) n. [NL., dim. of L. spira a coil.] (Biol.) A genus of common motile microörganisms
(Spirobacteria) having the form of spiral- shaped filaments. One species is said to be the cause of relapsing
(Spir"ing) a. Shooting up in a spire or spires. "The spiring grass." Dryton.
(Spir"it) n. [OF. espirit, esperit, F. esprit, L. spiritus, from spirare to breathe, to blow. Cf. Conspire,
Expire, Esprit, Sprite.]
1. Air set in motion by breathing; breath; hence, sometimes, life itself. [Obs.] "All of spirit would deprive."
The mild air, with season moderate,Spenser.
Gently attempered, and disposed eo well,
That still it breathed foorth