ped·​es·​tal | \ ˈpe-də-stᵊl How to pronounce pedestal (audio) \

Definition of pedestal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the support or foot of a late classic or neoclassical column — see column illustration
b : the base of an upright structure the pedestal of a statue
2 : base, foundation Tourism is the island's economic pedestal.
3 : a position of esteem … be careful not to put celebrities on too high a pedestal.— Phil Plait


pedestaled or pedestalled; pedestaling or pedestalling

Definition of pedestal (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place on or furnish with a pedestal

Examples of pedestal in a Sentence

Noun the pedestal of a vase
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The jar of hair product, an iconic staple in certain households, is presented on a pedestal as something to be revered. Taylor Aldridge, ELLE Decor, "What Do Our Rooms Say About Us? The Answers Might Surprise You," 26 Feb. 2021 The instructor was on a pedestal, facing the class, shouting instructions and motivations. Colleen Murphy,, "The CDC Has Linked 2 COVID-19 Outbreaks to Poor Mask Usage at Gyms—Here's What to Know," 25 Feb. 2021 Once the bust was finished, the sculptor fitted it with a base designed to fit on the pedestal without drilling, enabling him and a small team to install it quickly in the middle of the night. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Anonymous Artist Installs Bust of York, Enslaved Explorer Who Accompanied Lewis and Clark, in Portland Park," 24 Feb. 2021 Once the statue is removed, contractors will spend several days repairing the stone pedestal before it is moved to the museum. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Virginia Military Institute begins process of moving Stonewall Jackson statue to museum," 7 Dec. 2020 From atop his pedestal, the former Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov icily surveils the numerous cars and innumerable scooters that zoom by. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "NSC Chief Tours Asia, Hammers China," 9 Dec. 2020 This pair has stood atop this pedestal, peering down at the city’s burgeoning downtown scene, for my entire life. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "North Carolina Keeps Breaking My Heart," 6 Nov. 2020 Over the pedestal appears the face of George Floyd, whose strong, solemn traits evoke sculptural traditions of their own. Peter Van Agtmael, Magazine, "How photography helps us make sense of this unforgettable year," 8 Dec. 2020 According to Shriners officials, the first incident occurred in early October, when someone unscrewed the bolts at the back of the statue that connected it to its pedestal and pushed it forward. Steven Goode,, "Newington Shriners statue repeatedly vandalized, beheaded," 30 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Worse, pedestaling successful Asian immigrant families also often silences and subjugates undocumented Asian immigrants, who represent one out of every seven Asian immigrants living in the United States. Irene Hsu, New Republic, "Mirai Nagasu and Chloe Kim Are Not Your Immigrant Fantasy," 16 Feb. 2018

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


1563, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1648, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pedestal

Noun and Verb

Middle French piedestal, from Old Italian piedestallo, from pie di stallo foot of a stall

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Time Traveler for pedestal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pedestal was in 1563

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Statistics for pedestal

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pedestal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for pedestal



English Language Learners Definition of pedestal

: the base of a column or other tall object
used to describe the position of someone who is admired, successful, etc.


ped·​es·​tal | \ ˈped-əs-tᵊl How to pronounce pedestal (audio) \

Kids Definition of pedestal

1 : a support or foot of an upright structure (as a column, statue, or lamp)
2 : a position of high regard The students put their teacher on a pedestal.

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