cor·​ner·​stone ˈkȯr-nər-ˌstōn How to pronounce cornerstone (audio)
: a stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall
specifically : such a stone laid at a formal ceremony
: a basic element : foundation
a cornerstone of foreign policy

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 The man also known as Dwayne Johnson returned to his roots in the wrestling ring, aligning with WWE cornerstone and his real life cousin, Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Shaheem Reid, Variety, 7 Apr. 2024 Trump has vowed to pardon the rioters and made the attack a cornerstone of his campaign. Jonathan J. Cooper, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2024 And those wind projects are only the cornerstone in Lundstorm’s vision of a much bigger energy company. Justin Worland, TIME, 4 Apr. 2024 During Easter week, Francis has also sought to focus on women and renew his dedication to a cornerstone of his papacy: humility. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2024 Perez, the club’s veteran cornerstone and perennial All-Star, registered three hits and four RBIs. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 31 Mar. 2024 And in today’s competitive market, customer loyalty is the cornerstone of success. Martin Petkov, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 What Happens if the U.S. Doesn’t Find a Solution? Satellite systems — America’s GPS, China’s Beidou, Europe’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass — are the important sources of time, and time is the cornerstone of most methods of navigation. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2024 His latest project, Blue Electric Light, is an effervescent expression of joy and radiation of good vibes – the message that lies at the cornerstone of Kravitz’ entire catalog. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 25 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cornerstone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near cornerstone

Cite this Entry

“Cornerstone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cor·​ner·​stone ˈkȯr-nər-ˌstōn How to pronounce cornerstone (audio)
: a stone forming part of a corner in a wall
: something of basic importance
the cornerstone of our foreign policy

More from Merriam-Webster on cornerstone

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!