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

The raw onions, dill pickles and white sandwich bread are cornerstones of Central Texas-style barbecue. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "Pop-up Horn BBQ opening first restaurant in former Brown Sugar Kitchen," 25 Aug. 2019 Free speech is the cornerstone not only of democracy but also of progress. The Economist, "As societies polarise, free speech is under threat. It needs defenders," 15 Aug. 2019 Penei Sewell, Shane Lemieux and Calvin Throckmorton are the cornerstones of a unit that also returns starters Jake Hanson and Dallas Warmack., "Oregon Ducks fall camp breakdown: Offensive line," 28 July 2019 The lawsuit is pending, though the claim that Menard took the law firm and Derzon's retirement funds are cornerstones of the criminal complaint. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawyer Robert Menard charged with stealing more than $700,000 from clients, ex-partner and uncle," 22 July 2019 Johnson’s initial orientation as secretary had been toward counterterrorism, which, under his predecessors, had been the cornerstone of its mission. Jason Zengerle, New York Times, "How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story," 16 July 2019 That commitment has been cornerstone to how the business has evolved over nearly 75 years. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "'Something worth saving': Historic Ebony photo archive to be auctioned off to pay creditors," 15 July 2019 When Bill and Ted return to the big screen next year for another most excellent adventure, we’ll surely be reminded of the lads’ important place in the universe, of how their fictional band Wyld Stallyns is the cornerstone of a future society. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "10 Essential Boards of Canada Tracks," 26 June 2019 For generations coming of age in the ’80s and ’90s, The Baby-Sitters Club was a cornerstone of adolescence. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "The Baby-Sitters Club," 13 Aug. 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

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for cornerstone

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

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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

What made you want to look up cornerstone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


readily or continually undergoing change

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