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pillar

Syllabification: pil·lar
Pronunciation: /ˈpilər
 
/

Definition of pillar in English:

noun

1A tall vertical structure of stone, wood, or metal, used as a support for a building, or as an ornament or monument.
Example sentences
  • Every bungalow is supported on stone pillars, which permits us to maintain the natural terrain and vegetation.
  • The former asylum opened in 1816 is a stately quadrangular building of stone with pillars of the Doric order.
  • They carve memorial pillars in wood and stone for their dead.
Synonyms
1.1Something shaped like a pillar: a pillar of smoke
More example sentences
  • The memory cell includes an access transistor formed in a pillar of single crystal semiconductor material.
  • Suddenly, when his opponent was close to the wall he sent a pillar of rock shooting towards Michael's head.
  • Elisa, Dhaiiski, and Cassida appeared downtown area at the center of a pillar of yellow circles.
1.2A person or thing regarded as reliably providing essential support for something: he was a pillar of his local community
More example sentences
  • The US considers it essential to maintain Morocco as a pillar of support in the Arab world.
  • She learned Arabic and became a pillar of support in local communities, often helping the needy in the face of opposition during the dictator's regime.
  • All those detained in the sweep were members of a family described as a pillar of support for the ousted regime, said the US Lieutenant Colonel.
Synonyms
stalwart, mainstay, bastion, rock;
leading light, worthy, backbone, support, upholder, champion, tower of strength

Origin

Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French piler, based on Latin pila 'pillar'.

More
  • The Latin word pila ‘pillar, pier’ is the source of pillar and also pile. People were shunted from post to pillar, ‘from one place to another’, back in the early 15th century, but for some reason the version from pillar to post came into use in the middle of the following century and soon became the favoured choice. Its origins lie in the sport of real tennis, played in an enclosed court (a bit like the one used for squash, only much larger) with sectioned walls and buttresses off which the ball can rebound. These are the ‘posts’ and ‘pillars’ of the expression. The game developed from one played by 11th-century monks in the cloisters of monasteries.

Phrases

from pillar to post

1
From one place to another in an unceremonious or fruitless manner: the refugees have been pushed from pillar to post in that area
More example sentences
  • Mrs Swaffield said: ‘It is so wrong that this old lady is being pushed around from pillar to post.’
  • Patients with mental health problems will no longer be pushed from pillar to post once a new resource centre has opened at Queensway House in Southend.
  • ‘I feel very guilty even now about how David got pushed from pillar to post,’ said Linda.

Derivatives

pillared

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • The courts were erected in 1835 and the façade with its pillared portico was a brutal statement of power designed to strike fear into the hearts of would-be miscreants who might suffer the full weight of a harsh penal code.
  • The discreet wealth of this corner of London, with the pillared porticos of clubland, and the gleaming brass plaques of private banks, no doubt witnesses its own share of deal-making on Africa.
  • There will be a residents' trust to oversee the running of the New England style development, which will feature a white pillared community hall and even a concierge service for household chores.

Definition of pillar in:

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