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


the pedestal of a vase

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the center of the space, two more pedestals bear rows of custom shopping bags, each adorned with a large, color photo of a significant object in Susan’s personal history. Sharon Mizota, Los Angeles Times, "A love letter to mom in 72 photos: Artist Susan Mogul’s latest, now on view," 20 Aug. 2019 The columns form a pedestal to the display above, or a brawny show unto themselves. John King,, "Much-needed Tenderloin housing makes architectural splash — after an 11-year wait," 13 Aug. 2019 The Big Stage Acts in this new episode of the variety-talent series include 34th and Phunk; Junru Wang’s pedestal balancing act; Blake Lewis vocal illusions; juggler Ron Pearson; Lina Liu’s spinning parasol act and aerial violinist Janice Martin. Ed Stockly,, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on ABC," 20 June 2019 When the American Committee for the Statue of Liberty ran out of money to build the monument’s pedestal in 1884, Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World, ran a campaign in his newspaper to come up with the money. Quentin Fottrell, Town & Country, "GoFundMe Has Revolutionized How We Give, But Is That a Good Thing?," 19 June 2019 Details were lovingly if soberly revealed, Brahms placed high on a pedestal. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The Budapest Festival Orchestra takes over the Bowl," 31 July 2019 Those old enough to remember often cite Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1981 as the most thrilling event of their lifetimes, memorialized by a bronze statue of the now-sainted pontiff designed to slowly rotate on a concrete pedestal. Washington Post, "Catholicism ingrained in daily life on US island of Guam," 10 Aug. 2019 Multiple pedestal fans rattled across the room, trying to keep everyone cool in the 113-degree heat. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Trona Catholics kept the faith as their town declined. Then, two earthquakes shook their ‘gem in the desert’," 5 Aug. 2019 In 2009, Perot found out that Hillwood had a chorus line of 12-foot-tall, naked-lady fake topiaries that stood atop 4-foot pedestals and were stashed in his son’s warehouse. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: Dallas' doyennes discovered green goddesses in their gardens," 11 July 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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Statistics for pedestal

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pedestal

The first known use of pedestal was in 1563

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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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Comments on pedestal

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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