Etymology
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spire (n.)
Old English spir "a sprout, shoot, spike, blade, tapering stalk of grass," from Proto-Germanic *spiraz (source also of Old Norse spira "a stalk, slender tree," Dutch spier "shoot, blade of grass," Middle Low German spir "a small point or top"), from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "tapering top of a tower or steeple" first recorded 1590s (a sense attested in Middle Low German since late 14c. and also found in the Scandinavian cognates).
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spire (v.)
early 14c., "send up shoots," from spire (n.). Related: Spired; spiring.
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spear (n.2)
"sprout of a plant," 1640s, earlier "church spire" (c. 1500); variant of spire (n.).
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finial (n.)
"ornament at the top of a spire, gable, etc.," mid-15c., from fyniall "putting an end to, binding" (early 15c.), a variant of final.
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spearmint (n.)
1530s, from spear (n.2) + mint (n.1). "Said to be a corruption of spire-mint, with reference to the pyramidal inflorescence" [Century Dictionary].
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Lombardy 

region and former kingdom (overthrown 744 by Charlemagne) in northern Italy; see Lombard. Lombardy poplar for the tall, columnar or spire-shaped variety, originally from Italy but planted in North American colonies as an ornamental tree, is attested from 1766.

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taper (v.)
1580s, "shoot up like a flame or spire," via an obsolete adjective taper, from taper (n.), on the notion of the converging form of the flame of a candle. Sense of "become slender, gradually grow less in size, force, etc." first recorded c. 1600. Transitive sense from 1670s. Related: Tapered; tapering.
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poplar (n.)

type of tree of rapid growth and moderate size, noted for light, soft wood and often planted for shade or ornament, mid-14c., from Anglo-French popler, from Old French poplier (13c., Modern French peulplier), from Latin pōpulus "poplar" (with a long "o;" not the same word that produced popular), which is of unknown origin, possibly from a PIE tree-name root *p(y)el- (source also of Greek pelea "elm"). Italian pioppo, Spanish chopo, German pappel, Old Church Slavonic topoli all are from Latin. The tall, columnar or spire-shaped variety are Lombardy poplars.

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pinnacle (n.)

c. 1300, "mountain top, sharp peak, promontory," from Old French pinacle "top, gable" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin pinnaculum "peak, pinnacle, gable," extended form (via diminutive suffix, but not necessarily implying smallness) of Latin pinna "peak, point," (see pin (n.)). Figurative use is attested from c. 1400. The meaning "pointed turret on the buttress or roof of a building" is from late 14c.

Its constructive object is to give greater weight to the member which it crowns, in order that this may better resist some lateral pressure. The application of the term is generally limited to an ornamental spire-shaped structure, standing on parapets, angles, and buttresses, and often adorned with rich and varied devices. [Century Dictionary]
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