cor·​ner·​stone | \ ˈkȯr-nər-ˌstōn How to pronounce cornerstone (audio) \

Definition of cornerstone

1 : a stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall specifically : such a stone laid at a formal ceremony
2 : a basic element : foundation a cornerstone of foreign policy

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Examples of cornerstone in a Sentence

Officials held a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a new library. Trust is the cornerstone of their relationship.

Recent Examples on the Web

With Elway entrenched as the team’s cornerstone on the field, and Bowlen shepherding the team off it, Denver became a mainstay in the playoffs. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Pat Bowlen, the Denver Broncos Owner Who Changed the NFL," 15 June 2019 The Hot Wheels brand began in 1968 and turned into one of the cornerstone's of Mattel, along with the Barbie doll. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Mattel revs up Hot Wheels to new digital generation," 14 June 2019 Scudder made the dignified treatment of its prisoners a cornerstone of his approach. Dana Walters, The Conversation, "When America had an open prison – the story of Kenyon Scudder and his ‘prison without walls’," 14 June 2019 Those words are carved on the cornerstone of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, which last month dedicated a new sanctuary near the site where the worst mass shooting in an American house of worship occurred. William Thornton |,, "Birmingham firms collaborate to build new church at mass shooting site," 13 June 2019 Forshee’s daughter Amber took the pastor’s phone and recorded a video of him reading a passage from Ephesians, one that touches on the word cornerstone. Anchorage Daily News, "Repairs to downtown Anchorage church snowball after additional damage is found," 13 June 2019 Production of a vast array of electronic components and chemicals, along with the assembly of electronic products, makes the country a cornerstone of the operations of many of the world’s largest multinational companies. Kate Conger, New York Times, "China Summons Tech Giants to Warn Against Cooperating With Trump Ban," 8 June 2019 Glass said the district is considering constructing the new school near the existing location, preserving the Hope Library by making it the cornerstone of the new building, and retaining the name Columbine High School. Katie Reilly, Time, "'It’s Not a Museum. It’s Not a Mausoleum.' Columbine High School Could Be Torn Down As Safety Threats Mount," 7 June 2019 Alun Jones, a cornerstone of Louisville's art community, died of a heart attack on April 25 while vacationing in Greece. Laurel Deppen, The Courier-Journal, "'He was one in a million': Arts community remembers Louisville Ballet's Alun Jones," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cornerstone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cornerstone

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for cornerstone

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for cornerstone

The first known use of cornerstone was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for cornerstone



English Language Learners Definition of cornerstone

: a stone that forms part of a corner in the outside wall of a building and that often shows the date when the building was built
: something of basic importance

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Comments on cornerstone

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