belfry

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bel·fry

 (bĕl′frē)
n. pl. bel·fries
1. A bell tower, especially one attached to a building.
2. The part of a tower or steeple in which bells are hung.

[Middle English belfrei, from Old North French belfroi, alteration of Old French berfrei, berfroi; see bhergh- in Indo-European roots.]

bel′fried adj.
Word History: The words bell and belfry seem obviously related, but in fact the bel- portion of belfry had nothing to do with bells until comparatively recently. Belfry goes back to a compound formed in the prehistoric common ancestor of the Germanic languages. It is generally agreed that the second part of this compound is the element *frij-, meaning "peace, safety." The first element is either *bergan, "to protect," which would yield a compound meaning "a defensive place of shelter," or *berg-, "a high place," which would yield a compound meaning "a high place of safety, tower." Whatever the meaning of the original Germanic source, its Old French descendant berfrei, which first meant "siege tower," came to mean "watchtower." Presumably because bells were used in these towers, the word was applied to bell towers as well. The Old North French alteration belfroi, which must have reminded Middle English speakers of their native word belle (our bell), entered Middle English with the sense "bell tower."

belfry

(ˈbɛlfrɪ)
n, pl -fries
1. (Architecture) the part of a tower or steeple in which bells are hung
2. (Architecture) a tower or steeple. Compare campanile
3. (Architecture) the timber framework inside a tower or steeple on which bells are hung
4. (Military) (formerly) a movable tower for attacking fortifications
[C13: from Old French berfrei, of Germanic origin; compare Middle High German bercfrit fortified tower, Medieval Latin berfredus tower]

bel•fry

(ˈbɛl fri)

n., pl. -fries.
1. a bell tower either attached to a church or other building or standing apart.
2. the part of a steeple or other structure in which a bell is hung.
3. a frame of timberwork that encloses a bell.
[1225–75; Middle English belfray, berfray < Old French < Frankish; compare Middle High German ber(c)frit siegetower]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.belfry - a bell towerbelfry - a bell tower; usually stands alone unattached to a building
bell tower - a tower that supports or shelters a bell
2.belfry - a room (often at the top of a tower) where bells are hungbelfry - a room (often at the top of a tower) where bells are hung
bell tower - a tower that supports or shelters a bell
room - an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling; "the rooms were very small but they had a nice view"
Translations
قُبَّة جَرَس
zvonice
klokketårn
kellotorni
harangtorony
klukkuturn
varpinė
zvanu tornis
çan kulesi

belfry

[ˈbelfrɪ] Ncampanario m

belfry

[ˈbɛlfri] nbeffroi m

belfry

nGlockenstube f ? bat1

belfry

[ˈbɛlfrɪ] ncampanile m

belfry

(ˈbelfri) plural ˈbelfries noun
the part of a (church) tower in which bells are hung.
References in classic literature ?
That was, in fact,--when, after having long groped one's way up the dark spiral which perpendicularly pierces the thick wall of the belfries, one emerged, at last abruptly, upon one of the lofty platforms inundated with light and air,--that was, in fact, a fine picture which spread out, on all sides at once, before the eye; a spectacle sui generis , of which those of our readers who have had the good fortune to see a Gothic city entire, complete, homogeneous,--a few of which still remain, Nuremberg in Bavaria and Vittoria in Spain,--can readily form an idea; or even smaller specimens, provided that they are well preserved,--Vitré in Brittany, Nordhausen in Prussia.
However, admirable as the Paris of to-day may seem to you, reconstruct the Paris of the fifteenth century, call it up before you in thought; look at the sky athwart that surprising forest of spires, towers, and belfries; spread out in the centre of the city, tear away at the point of the islands, fold at the arches of the bridges, the Seine, with its broad green and yellow expanses, more variable than the skin of a serpent; project clearly against an azure horizon the Gothic profile of this ancient Paris.
It is no longer anything but a mass of sonorous vibrations incessantly sent forth from the numerous belfries; floats, undulates, bounds, whirls over the city, and prolongs far beyond the horizon the deafening circle of its oscillations.