mau·​so·​le·​um | \ ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-əm How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) , ˌmȯ-zə- How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) \
plural mausoleums or mausolea\ ˌmȯ-​sə-​ˈlē-​ə How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) , ˌmȯ-​zə-​ \

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 The architectural feature—thought to be part of a monument or mausoleum—is the oldest structure discovered at the site to date. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 May 2021 This 17th-century white marble mausoleum has drawn visitors to Agra for years. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 14 Apr. 2021 In reality, the Al Khazneh temple exists as an ancient mausoleum in Petra, Jordan. Hillary Maglin, Travel + Leisure, 26 Apr. 2021 Your timbre must sotto the way a library book smells like the mausoleum of Erato. Emilia Phillips, The Atlantic, 18 Apr. 2021 Next to the Basilica of San Francesco, a small mausoleum holds Dante’s bones. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Apr. 2021 Dante's tomb and mausoleum are currently open to visitors for free. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Apr. 2021 Some scorn the aesthetic as that of a giant mausoleum: bleak and cold. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2021 The Castle, a former mausoleum and prison, is also famous for the final scene of Puccini's opera when the heroine, Tosca, throws herself from the top story to her death. Pamela Mccourt Francescone, Travel + Leisure, 17 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for mausoleum

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

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Last Updated

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mausoleum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for mausoleum



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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