Simple Definition of plinth
: a block of stone or wood that is used as the base for a pillar, statue, etc.
Full Definition of plinth
1 a : the lowest member of a base : subbase b : a block upon which the moldings of an architrave or trim are stopped at the bottom
2 : a usually square block serving as a base; broadly : any of various bases or lower parts
3 : a course of stones forming a continuous foundation or base course
Did You Know?
These ivy-clad arcades-/ These mouldering plinths . . . are they all-/ All of the famed, and the colossal left . . .? In these lines from "The Coliseum," Edgar Allan Poe alludes to a practical feature of classical architecture. The plinth serves the important purpose of raising the base of the column it supports above the ground, thus protecting it from dampness and mold. The humble plinth is usually a mere thick block. It's humbly named, too, for the Greek word plinthos means simply "tile" or "brick." English writers have used "plinth," a shortened version of the Latin form plinthus, since the beginning of the 17th century. The meaning was extended to bases for statues, vases, or busts in the 18th century.
Origin and Etymology of plinth
Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos
First Known Use: 1601
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