mono·​lith | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌlith How to pronounce monolith (audio) \

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

Like any group of individuals who happen to share a specific characteristic, amputees and people with limb differences aren’t a monolith. Susie Armitage, SELF, "10 Things Amputees and People With Limb Differences Want You to Know," 1 May 2019 But for far too long, they’ve been depicted in popular culture in a negative light as a faceless monolith with no sense of agency or independence. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "What MuslimGirl's Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Wants to See From the Beauty Industry in 2019," 27 Mar. 2019 By far the most ridiculous of the Rocky films, Rocky IV sends the mumblemouthed boxer into the Soviet Union to avenge the death of Apollo, who died in a match against Ivan Drago, the Russian monolith of a man played by Dolph Lundgren. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Creed II is no Creed. But it’s a pretty good Rocky sequel.," 21 Nov. 2018 But as the lifestyles of the well-off pivot to a more natural fusion of exercise and daily life, as athleisure becomes a fashion statement, Nike has lagged where other activewear monoliths have thrived. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Would You Wear the Same Outfit from the Gym to the Club? Nike Is Betting On It with a New Althluxury Collection," 10 Aug. 2018 The creation of the iconic monolith was a years-long process. Michael Cavna,, "19 things you probably don't know about '2001: A Space Odyssey'," 4 Apr. 2018 France’s famed Socialist Party is a shell of its former self, and Macron’s centrist party, République En Marche (Republic on the Move), is a monolith in Parliament. James Mcauley, Washington Post, "France’s Macron pushes back against angry allies to defend crackdowns on migrants," 16 Jan. 2018 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

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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Statistics for monolith

Last Updated

15 May 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
often disapproving : 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

Comments on monolith

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to take the place or position of

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