| Share
 

Belfry

A military tower, pushed by besiegers against the wall of a besieged city, that missiles may be thrown more easily against the defenders. Probably a church steeple is called a belfry from its resemblance to these towers, and not because bells are hung in it. (French, beffroi, a watch-tower, Old French, berfreit, belefreit, from German, berg-frit, bergen, to protect, frit [vride], a place fenced in for security.)

Alone, and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.

Tennyson: The Owl, stanza 1.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Belfry from Infoplease:

Related Content

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring