Definition of belfry in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbelfrē/

noun (plural belfries)

1A bell tower or steeple housing bells, especially one that is part of a church.
Example sentences
  • The palace chapel had porcelain bells in the wooden belfry and large porcelain figures of the apostles.
  • The belfry and short spire were added about 1200.
  • The last rang in my ears like a bell's dying toll from a belfry.
1.1A space for hanging bells in a church tower.
Example sentences
  • Grass is growing from gutters and belfry, and windows need to be replaced.
  • Specialists cleaned the clock face and belfry, repaired Suffolk bricks and replaced the low-level roof.
  • The tower featured a belfry and observatory, topped with a cupola and a golden statue of an angel flying in a horizontal position!


bats in the (or one's) belfry

see bat2.


Middle English berfrey, from Old French berfrei, later belfrei. The change in the first syllable was due to association with bell1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bel·fry

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