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 In 1533, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro ordered his followers to knock the oracle from its pedestal in front of horrified onlookers. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "X-rays reveal the faded colors of a 1,300-year-old Inca idol," 17 Jan. 2020 Water seeped into the walls, up to about 10 centimeters, but spared a series of plaster statues by Canova, that were on squat wooden pedestals just high enough to have avoided disaster., "Young Venetians volunteer after flood of their lifetimes - The Boston Globe," 17 Nov. 2019 White round antennas litter the landscape, while the fauna of Australia meander around the 20-story-high pedestals. Shannon Stirone, Longreads, "Welcome to the Center of the Universe," 15 Mar. 2018 The middle mimics a mausoleum honoring unarmed black people who have been killed by police, and there’s a pedestal of soil from lynching sites. Houston Chronicle, "The Must List: Damon Wayans, ‘Hello, Dolly!’," 2 Jan. 2020 Even if one pedestal crashes, his legacy may remain afloat. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Lord Snowdon’s Work Was About So Much More Than the Royal Family," 15 Dec. 2019 The only thing that remains of the Emerson Place project is a concrete pedestal. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Denver apartment project to be rebranded after being destroyed in fatal 2018 fire," 11 Nov. 2019 Off the kitchen, there’s a half bath with a porcelain pedestal sink and ceramic tile flooring. John Ellement, Real Estate, "Home of the Week: For under $450,000, a former parsonage in Wrentham," 25 Sep. 2019 In 2004, the Statue of Liberty pedestal in New York City reopened to the public for the first time since the 9/11 attacks., "This day in history," 3 Aug. 2019 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

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pedestal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pedestal


How to pronounce pedestal (audio)

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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