1. A building or part of a building that is exceptionally high in proportion to its width and length.
2. A tall, slender structure used for observation, signaling, or pumping.
3. One that conspicuously embodies strength, firmness, or another virtue.
4. Computers A computer system whose components are arranged in a vertical stack and housed in a tall, narrow cabinet.
intr.v. tow·ered, tow·er·ing, tow·ers
1. To appear at or rise to a conspicuous height; loom: "There he stood, grown suddenly tall, towering above them" (J.R.R. Tolkien).
2. To fly directly upward before swooping or falling. Used of certain birds.
3. To demonstrate great superiority; be preeminent: towers over other poets of the day.
[Middle English tur, tour, towr, from Old English torr and from Old French tur, both from Latin turris, probably from Greek tursis, turris.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.