plinth

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noun \ˈplin(t)th\

Definition of plinth

  1. 1a :  the lowest member of a base :  subbaseb :  a block upon which the moldings of an architrave or trim are stopped at the bottom

  2. 2 :  a usually square block serving as a base; broadly :  any of various bases or lower parts

  3. 3 :  a course of stones forming a continuous foundation or base course

plinth was our Word of the Day on 08/27/2016. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of plinth from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plinth'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

"These ivy-clad arcades — / These mouldering plinths ... are they all — / All of the famed, and the colossal left…?" In these lines from "The Coliseum," Edgar Allan Poe alludes to a practical feature of classical architecture. The plinth serves the important purpose of raising the base of the column it supports above the ground, thus protecting it from dampness and mold. The humble plinth is usually a mere thick block. It's humbly named, too, for the Greek word plinthos means simply "tile" or "brick." English writers have used plinth, a shortened version of the Latin form plinthus, since the mid-16th century. The word's meaning was later extended to bases for statues, vases, or busts.

Origin and Etymology of plinth

Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos

Other Architecture Terms


PLINTH Defined for English Language Learners

plinth

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noun

Definition of plinth for English Language Learners

  • : a block of stone or wood that is used as the base for a pillar, statue, etc.


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