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

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 Once that edifice starts to erode, a precipitous unraveling could follow. Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2021 The edifice measured roughly 360 feet long and 130 feet wide, with a colonnade, or row of columns, standing some 40 feet tall. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2021 A century ago, a strange edifice arose at the foot of the Hollywood Hills, on Kings Road. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 21 July 2022 By the end of 1946, with the war long ended, the prisoners were sent home, and their former camp became temporary classrooms for Illiana Christian High School, which was building its first edifice in Lansing. Paul Eisenberg, Chicago Tribune, 3 July 2022 Rarely, however, do big, raised letters of a naming opportunity inside a museum room identify the same donor whose name is also in big, raised letters on the edifice outside. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 As for Selfridges, its undulating DCL edifice based on its physical Birmingham store didn’t sell anything at all. Stephanie Hirschmiller, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2022 Facts can come to feel like load-bearing elements of a rickety edifice. Molly Fischer, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 The edifice of the law in our system is precedential, built on laws passed by legislatures, implemented by executives, and litigated in our courts. Roger Valdez, Forbes, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Edifice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/edifice. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for edifice


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

Kids Definition of edifice

: a large or impressive building

More from Merriam-Webster on edifice

Nglish: Translation of edifice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of edifice for Arabic Speakers


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