Bel"fry (?), n. [OE. berfray movable tower used in sieges, OF. berfreit, berfroit, F. beffroi, fr. MHG. bervrit, bercvrit, G. bergfriede, fr. MHG. bergen to protect (G. bergen to conceal) + vride peace, protection, G. friede peace; in compounds often taken in the sense of security, or place of security; orig. therefore a place affording security. G. friede is akin to E. free. See Burg, and Free.]
1. Mil. Antiq.
A movable tower erected by besiegers for purposes of attack and defense.
A bell tower, usually attached to a church or other building, but sometimes separate; a campanile.
A room in a tower in which a bell is or may be hung; or a cupola or turret for the same purpose.
The framing on which a bell is suspended.
© Webster 1913.