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 mausolea (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 Last week, intern Stacy Delgado sat patiently applying mortar between the limestone blocks of a 12-foot high mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Young New Yorkers Carve Out a Career—From a Graveyard," 30 June 2020 President Vladimir Putin sat on the Soviet-era tribune beside Lenin’s mausoleum, surrounded by war veterans – who had been quarantined for two weeks in advance – to view the belated, but still impressive, Victory Day military parade. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why does World War II still hold such a grip on Russia?," 25 June 2020 In Italy, dictator Benito Mussolini's crypt in the town of Predappio has seen annual pilgrimages by the far-right, just as far-right activists in Spain were drawn to the mausoleum of Francisco Franco before his remains were moved last year. Tim Lister, CNN, "Cathartic acts of rage, or the rewriting of history? How statues became political lightning rods," 14 June 2020 Inside the mausoleum, a small podium was set up along with 24 chairs in three rows. CBS News, "Live updates: George Floyd's funeral service held in Houston," 9 June 2020 Linn died in 1882 at age 68 and is entombed in a mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery. al, "The history of Birmingham monuments damaged during George Floyd protest," 1 June 2020 Cardinals coach, Kliff Kingsbury, for instance, lives in a really nice mausoleum. Scott Ostler,, "NFL draft: Deep thoughts on clueless draftees, cardboard commissioner, stray dogs," 25 Apr. 2020 In the mausoleum, both his grandfather and his father lie in state. New York Times, "Speculation Over Kim Jong-un’s Health Is Fueled by North Korea’s Own Secrecy," 21 Apr. 2020 It is filled with elaborate mausoleums as well as whimsical tributes to the hobbies of the deceased. David Segal, New York Times, "Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?," 14 May 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mausoleum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for mausoleum


How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) How to pronounce mausoleum (audio)

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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