ed·​i·​fice | \ ˈe-də-fəs How to pronounce edifice (audio) \

Definition of edifice

1 : building especially : a large or massive structure
2 : a large abstract structure holds together the social edifice— R. H. Tawney

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Synonyms for edifice


cathedral, hall, palace, tower

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Examples of edifice in a Sentence

a magnificent edifice with a domed ceiling the U.S. Capitol is one of our nation's most impressive edifices

Recent Examples on the Web

Much of Philadelphia is familiar with the main Philly Cold building, even if folks don’t know the purpose of the huge brick edifice on Columbus Boulevard, visible from I-95. Alfred Lubrano, https://www.inquirer.com, "Food program stepping up to save school lunches, food for low-income people," 4 June 2019 Situated off Singapore’s southeast coast, the hotel boasts a mix of colonial-style buildings and curvy modern edifices. John Hudson, Washington Post, "The U.S. is trying to find a discreet way to pay for Kim Jong Un’s hotel during the summit," 1 June 2018 The Bureau is housed at the aging J. Edgar Hoover building in downtown Washington, but the edifice, which is more than 40 years old, is deteriorating and can no longer accommodate all the FBI’s Washington workforce. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Emails Appear at Odds With White House Statement on FBI Relocation Costs," 2 Nov. 2018 In a city flush with stately—and historic—edifices, the National Building Museum, which is dedicated to architecture, engineering, and design, still manages to stand out. Amy Mckeever, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Museums in D.C. You'll Want to Visit," 10 July 2018 Grimshaw Architects, which has a large portfolio of airport design work—including terminals in Istanbul and Melbourne, Australia—has been selected to design the edifice, but details are still scant. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York's Airports Are Getting Billion-Dollar Makeovers—But What Will They Actually Change?," 21 Nov. 2018 Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a security contractor whose job is to oversee the safety of the world’s tallest skyscraper, a Hong Kong edifice that’s 3,500 ft. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Dwayne Johnson Scales New Heights in Skyscraper," 12 July 2018 Many are striking edifices in Athens’ old commercial center, whole sections of which were killed by unchecked immigration, riots and Greece’s financial crisis that spawned wastelands of empty, shuttered shops. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Life, and value, for derelict Greek properties," 10 July 2018 In February, my attention was drawn to Building 191, a shotgun-style edifice slated for demolition at the east end of Liberty Station. Logan Jenkins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Cliff-hanger update: 3 damsels no longer distressed," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'edifice.' 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 edifice

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for edifice

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin aedificium, from aedificare

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Statistics for edifice

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for edifice

The first known use of edifice was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of edifice

: a large and usually impressive building (such as a church or government building)


ed·​i·​fice | \ ˈe-də-fəs How to pronounce edifice (audio) \

Kids Definition of edifice

: a large or impressive building

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More from Merriam-Webster on edifice

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Spanish Central: Translation of edifice

Nglish: Translation of edifice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edifice for Arabic Speakers

Comments on edifice

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behavior toward others

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