Definition of plinth
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 : a usually square block serving as a base; broadly : any of various bases or lower parts
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!
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
First Known Use: 1563
PLINTH Defined for English Language Learners
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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