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

In Alabama, there are majority African American cities with parks featuring monuments to an insurrection against the United States — statues, plaques, busts and obelisks honoring the enslavement, torture and murder of those citizens' ancestors. al, "We didn’t need blackface to know who Kay Ivey is. She already showed us," 29 Aug. 2019 And there is the forest, a 250-square-mile protected area, where, not too far from the obelisk in the center, the five-foot concrete block bearing Georges Mandel’s likeness sits in the waving grass. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Haunting of Paris: Georges Mandel and the Long Legacy of Nazi Violence," 6 Aug. 2019 Markers also will be installed at a monument on Peachtree Battle Avenue and, in historic Oakland Cemetery, the Lion of Atlanta and an obelisk. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Georgia law prohibits removing these Confederate monuments. So Atlanta is adding context," 2 Aug. 2019 An obelisk monument that would become the subject of local controversy a century later had not yet been commissioned by the Daughters of the Confederacy. John Hammontree | Jhammontree@al.com, al.com, "Could a new monument heal Jefferson County’s racial divide?," 22 July 2019 These were the same kind of guys who were building these obelisks so many thousands of years ago. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Political Punk Rock That Protests Its Own Singer," 21 June 2019 Explore the Karnak temple complex, a sprawling array of shrines, obelisks, and gateways where Amun and other deities were worshipped; and take the afternoon to wander about Luxor on your own. National Geographic, "Egypt Private Expedition," 12 June 2019 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

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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Last Updated

5 Sep 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

Comments on obelisk

What made you want to look up obelisk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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