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


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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 The edifice of digital content built entirely on advertising supports no such sophistication. Samir Patil, Fortune, "How a ‘creator economy’ could help writers and artists triumph over Facebook and Google," 25 June 2020 One of the city's most popular tourist attractions, the tower's edifice includes a pair of famous glockenspiels, mechanical-musical dioramas depicting scenes from the region's past. Evan Ratliff, Wired, "We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn't We?," 16 June 2020 Much of the language is crude, reminding us that the edifice is less a memorial to Lee than a monument to white supremacy. John Edwin Mason, National Geographic, "Photos can show protests’ complexity—or they can perpetuate old lies," 5 June 2020 The unlikely but not impossible worst case is that a miscalculation destabilises some of the $10trn edifice of cross-border financial claims that sits in Hong Kong, causing a shock that ripples across China and Asia. The Economist, "Hong Kong’s uncertain future Can Hong Kong remain a global financial centre?," 4 June 2020 Triumph Church's north campus in Southfield typically hosts thousands of worshippers every Sunday inside its edifice across from the former Northland Mall. Branden Hunter, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit churches bring God to your car during coronavirus pandemic," 6 Apr. 2020 But his edifice of power turned out to be fragile and dated, built on strong-arm rule, cronyism and an alliance with the West. Michael Slackman, New York Times, "Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian Leader Ousted in Arab Spring, Dies at 91," 25 Feb. 2020 My own war was 18 years old now, its veterans honored on the walls of the edifice behind me, where McGovern’s old high school still played its basketball games. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "Playing Soldiers," 15 July 2019 Previously the graveyard of the First Dutch Reformed Church — skeletons were unearthed during excavation — the site of Wheeler’s edifice had lately been a circus ground. John Freeman Gill, New York Times, "Restoring Brooklyn’s Queen of Department Stores," 22 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for edifice

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Edifice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edifice. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for edifice


How to pronounce edifice (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for edifice

Spanish Central: Translation of edifice

Nglish: Translation of edifice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edifice for Arabic Speakers

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