mono·​lith | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌlith \

Definition of monolith

1 : a single great stone often in the form of an obelisk or column A granite monolith stands at the center of the park.
2 : a massive structure The 70-story monolith is one of Europe's tallest buildings.
3 : an organized whole that acts as a single unified powerful or influential force The movie company grew into a monolith of the entertainment industry.

Examples of monolith in a Sentence

The new office building is a massive steel and concrete monolith. The media monolith owns a number of networks.

Recent Examples on the Web

But the Beavers’ facilities are still overshadowed by the space-age sports monoliths at nearby Oregon donated by alumnus and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "The Other OSU Aims for Turnaround," 31 Aug. 2018 These monoliths, eroded by nature over the eons into curious shapes, are a defining feature of Hampi, the erstwhile seat of the Vijayanagara Empire in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. Sarah Khan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Visiting Hampi, an Historic Region of Southern India That's Free of Tourists...For Now," 1 Aug. 2018 Short-term leases arbitrated and approved by huge real estate monoliths is increasingly becoming the reality of retail. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "Not even shopping locally can save your favorite mom-and-pop — the problem is much, much bigger than that.," 21 Nov. 2018 Maoist ideology plays no visible role in the monolith movement. The Economist, "Stone-carving villagers make Indian officials jittery," 7 June 2018 The American public, including both Facebook’s advertisers and its users, have come to believe Facebook is a monolith corporation that controls every aspect of a fundamental way that people share and receive information. Jessi Hempel, WIRED, "Congress Is Unearthing Facebook’s Terrible Power," 11 Apr. 2018 El Capitan, the nearly 3,000-foot-tall granite monolith rising out of Yosemite Valley, stands as the life-long goal and crowning achievement of any rock climber. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "A Climbing Prodigy Just Set the Record for Free-Climbing Yosemite's Dawn Wall," 22 Nov. 2016 But California’s rural heartland is not a monolith. New York Times, "In California’s Farm Country, the Tide of ‘Resistance’ Runs Dry Ahead of the Primary," 29 May 2018 Every so often, distributors and content producers will come to an impasse, resulting in channels being blacked out for subscribers while the two corporate monoliths sort things out. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Dish customers lose HBO in ongoing distribution dispute," 1 Nov. 2018

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monolith

French monolithe, from monolithe consisting of a single stone, from Latin monolithus, from Greek monolithos, from mon- + lithos stone

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for monolith

The first known use of monolith was in 1836

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English Language Learners Definition of monolith

: a very large stone that is usually tall and narrow; especially : a stone that was put in position by people as a monument or for religious reasons

: a very large building or other structure

: a very large and powerful organization that acts as a single unit

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More from Merriam-Webster on monolith

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with monolith

Spanish Central: Translation of monolith

Nglish: Translation of monolith for Spanish Speakers

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