obe·​lisk | \ ˈä-bə-ˌlisk also ˈō- How to pronounce obelisk (audio) \

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

Rustic willow obelisk: Made from natural willow, this piece has a casual look and can be used as a support for long-stemmed or climbing plants. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Colorful, whimsical or classic, yard art can enhance your garden’s overall appeal," 3 July 2019 In Place Vendôme, a woman’s legs, blurred by movement, scissor across a puddle, with the obelisk reflected upside down in the water. The New York Review of Books, "Carole Naggar," 25 May 2019 Idea #5: Standard stone looks anything but in an obelisk-meets-chevron shape. Sarah Bray, House Beautiful, "6 Gorgeous Graphic Tiles," 24 June 2014 After the death of his boy favorite, Antinous, the Roman emperor Hadrian deified his beloved, erected an obelisk in his memory in Rome, and built an entire city on the eastern bank of the Nile called Antinoopolis. Christopher Alessandrini, The New York Review of Books, "‘Boys Do It Better’: The Paintings of Louis Fratino," 18 May 2019 Inside, an obelisk-like stalagmite stood sentinel atop a mound decked with moss and neon-green ferns. Patrick Scott, WSJ, "A Blow-Your-Mind Adventure in Vietnam’s Caves," 13 Nov. 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 The Luxor Obelisk, an ancient Egyptian obelisk mounted in the place in the 1830s, anchors the open space. Melissa Liebling-goldberg, Condé Nast Traveler, "19 Best Paris Walking Tours," 3 Mar. 2018 Dedicated to the goddess, the obelisk was also an offering for the welfare of the Roman emperor (and Egyptian pharaoh) Domitian. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Blend Like an Egyptian: Multicultural Art, Pharaoh-Style," 22 Mar. 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

borrowed from Latin obeliscus "four-sided pillar," borrowed from Greek obelískos "skewer, four-sided pillar," diminutive of obelós "spit, four-sided pillar" — more at obelus

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Statistics for obelisk

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for obelisk

The first known use of obelisk was in 1561

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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 How to pronounce obelisk (audio) , ˈō-\

Kids Definition of obelisk

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on obelisk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obelisk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obelisk

Spanish Central: Translation of obelisk

Nglish: Translation of obelisk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about obelisk

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