Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: BUILDINGS

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: piler, from Latin pila

pillar

noun
     
pillar
pil‧lar [countable]
1
a) TBB a tall upright round post used as a support for a roof or bridge:
Eight massive stone pillars supported the roof.
b) TB a tall upright round post, usually made of stone, put up to remind people of an important person or event
2

pillar of society/the community/the church etc

somebody who is an important and respected member of a group, and is involved in many public activities:
Mr Fitzwilliam had been seen as a pillar of the community.
3 a very important part of a system of beliefs or ideas
pillar of
One of the pillars of a civilized society must be that everyone has equal access to the legal system.
4

be driven/pushed from pillar to post

to have to go from one person or situation to another without achieving much or being able to settle:
The poor kid has been pushed from pillar to post.
5

be a pillar of strength

if someone is a pillar of strength, they are there to give you help and support at a difficult time:
Christine's been a pillar of strength to me.
6

pillar of dust/smoke/flame etc

CF a tall upright mass of dust, smoke, flame etc
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