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)
: a large tomb
especially : a usually stone building with places for entombment of the dead above ground
: a large gloomy building or room
she invited him out of the mausoleum of a parlour into the kitchenD. H. Lawrence

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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 Leave your bike outside and meander through the sloping hills covered in stubby graves, statues of veiled angels, and grand mausoleums. Francesca Carington, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 Jan. 2024 And Claudia Ross has an intriguing story about how density is coming for Hollywood Forever Cemetery — in the form of a vertical mausoleum designed by Lehrer Architects. Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2024 His mother, Cedella Booker, was buried in an adjacent mausoleum in 2008; his brother, Anthony Booker, was interred in a tomb above Bob in 1990. Alex Gurley, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 As for dining venues, guests have several to choose from, including a restaurant and chocolate shop by three-Michelin-star chef Niko Romito and, in warmer months, a rooftop bar that peers onto the brick mausoleum of the Roman emperor Augustus, located just across the road. Laura May Todd, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 This June, another layer of history was added to the grand Piazza Augusto Imperatore, which houses the mausoleum of the first Roman emperor, Augustus: the Bulgari Hotel Roma. Liam Hess, Vogue, 28 Nov. 2023 Marley was later buried in a mausoleum near his hometown of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. Alex Gurley, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 Moscow is a drab mausoleum in an economic backwater that is ruled by a dictator. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 13 Feb. 2024 The mausoleum in the film is the actual Ferrari family mausoleum, although obviously there are more members of the family in the mausoleum now than there were in 1957. Charlie Hobbs, Condé Nast Traveler, 25 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mausoleum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near mausoleum

Cite this Entry

“Mausoleum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mau·​so·​le·​um ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-əm How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) ˌmȯ-zə- How to pronounce mausoleum (audio)
plural mausoleums or mausolea
: a large or fancy tomb

from Latin mausoleum "a large tomb," from Greek Mausōleion "the magnificent tomb of Mausolus (ruler of Caria, an ancient country in Asia Minor)," considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world

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