mau·so·le·um | \ ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-əm , ˌmȯ-zə- \
plural mausoleums or mausolea\-ˈlē-ə \

Definition of mausoleum 

1 : a large tomb especially : a usually stone building with places for entombment of the dead above ground

2 : a large gloomy building or room she invited him out of the mausoleum of a parlour into the kitchen —D. H. Lawrence

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Did You Know?

Mausolus was ruler of a kingdom in Asia Minor in the 4th century B.C. He beautified the capital, Halicarnassus, with all sorts of fine public buildings, but he is best known for the magnificent monument, the Mausoleum, that was built by his wife Artemisia after his death. With its great height (perhaps 140 feet) and many beautiful sculptures, the Mausoleum was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Though Halicarnassus was repeatedly attacked, the Mausoleum would survive for well over 1,000 years.

Examples of mausoleum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Michael Jackson was entombed in 2009 in the mausoleum at the opulent cemetery that is also the final resting place of Elizabeth Taylor and Walt Disney. Andrew Dalton, The Seattle Times, "Joe Jackson buried in same LA-area cemetery as son Michael," 2 July 2018 From a distance, the Samanid mausoleum does seem underwhelming. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "A Final Resting Place, Both Beguiling and Beautiful," 4 May 2018 While still a child, Qin Shihuang, who founded the Qin dynasty and unified China in 221BC, ordered a mausoleum built for himself that would measure 6.3km across at its widest point and include over 8,000 terracotta figures. The Economist, "A new species of gibbon is found in a 2,200-year-old tomb," 23 June 2018 West of Frogmore House is a separate mausoleum on a wooded mound, which houses the remains of Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception Venue Is Also a Graveyard," 18 May 2018 In the decades since Francisco Franco's death, the Spanish dictator's colossal Valley of the Fallen mausoleum has stood untouched in the rolling countryside outside Madrid, guarded by a towering cross. James Badcock,, "Inside the Valley of the Fallen, a search for two brothers killed in the Spanish Civil War," 10 May 2018 The four are believed to lie in crypts within the Valley of the Fallen, a controversial neoclassical mausoleum northwest of Madrid where thousands of victims in the 1936-1939 were buried alongside the remains of Franco himself. Fox News, "Spain resumes controversial exhumations near Franco's tomb," 23 Apr. 2018 That's also one of the reasons why just 20 percent of the mausoleum has been excavated in the last four decades. Carol Motsinger,, "This wonder of the world is now in Cincinnati," 20 Apr. 2018 Just south of Victoria’s and Albert’s mausoleum is the Frogmore Royal Burial Ground, where members of the royal family have been buried since the ground was consecrated in 1928. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception Venue Is Also a Graveyard," 18 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mausoleum

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek mausōleion, from Mausōlos Mausolus †about 353 b.c., ruler of Caria

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for mausoleum

The first known use of mausoleum was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of mausoleum

: a stone building with places for the dead bodies of several people or the body of an important person

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alleviating pain or harshness

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