obe·lisk | \ˈä-bə-ˌlisk also ˈō- \

Definition of obelisk 

1 : an upright 4-sided usually monolithic pillar that gradually tapers as it rises and terminates in a pyramid

Illustration of obelisk

Illustration of obelisk

obelisk 1

Examples of obelisk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Two towering obelisks in one of its two cemeteries are monuments to the never-say-die spirit of this place. Maria Panaritis, Philly.com, "St. Denis Fun Fair: I dare you to say this Havertown tradition, now 50, will ever die. | Maria Panaritis," 4 May 2018 After the Hartranft family’s obelisk was vandalized with white paint several years ago, the historical society had to bring in a conservationist. Katie Park, Philly.com, "Amid weeds and toppled tombstones, historic Montgomery County cemetery struggles to rebuild," 11 June 2018 An officer’s white hat appeared at the obelisk’s peak beginning in 1947. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Herndon Monument Climb: Why crazed Naval Academy freshmen storm a greased obelisk," 21 May 2018 Many are still visible in Central Park, unlikely obelisks scored by time. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt takes another significant policy step as controversies swirl," 8 June 2018 Many are still visible in Central Park, unlikely obelisks scored by time. William J. Broad, New York Times, "How the Ice Age Shaped New York," 5 June 2018 More: Confederate statue in Cherokee Triangle vandalized again, this time with the word 'racist' A 351-foot tall concrete obelisk still stands at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, Kentucky. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Why is today Confederate Memorial Day in Kentucky?," 3 June 2018 The breakwater of the wharf is fascinating with huge granite obelisks bent by storms lining the granite rocks like seaside grave stones. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A Visit To Stonington's Seashore And Preserve Where Expansive Views And Connecticut History Are Showcased," 6 July 2018 One acclimates to such mysteries when one lives in a city built around an immense obelisk. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Electric Scooters Are the Cargo Shorts of Transportation," 31 May 2018

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

1561, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obelisk

Middle French obelisque, from Latin obeliscus, from Greek obeliskos, from diminutive of obelos

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Statistics for obelisk

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for obelisk

The first known use of obelisk was in 1561

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More Definitions for obelisk



English Language Learners Definition of obelisk

: a tall, four-sided stone column that becomes narrower toward the top and that ends in a point


obe·lisk | \ˈä-bə-ˌlisk, ˈō-\

Kids Definition of obelisk

: a four-sided pillar that becomes narrower toward the top and ends in a pyramid

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