A belfry is a part of a tall tower or steeple that holds bells. Those bells are loud — you would not want to be up in the belfry when they start ringing at noon!

A typical belfry is at the top of a church steeple. It's open on all sides so the sound of the ringing bells can escape — if you look up, you can see the large bells through the openings in the belfry. The word comes from roots meaning "to protect" and "peace," and the original meaning was "wooden watch tower." These ancient belfries held watchmen, but also warning bells. The phrase "bats in the belfry" describes someone who's quite eccentric.

Definitions of belfry

n a bell tower; usually stands alone unattached to a building

Leaning Tower of Pisa
a tall round marble campanile in Pisa that is not perpendicular; construction was begun in 1174
Type of:
bell tower
a tower that supports or shelters a bell

n a room (often at the top of a tower) where bells are hung

Type of:
an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling

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