cor·​ner·​stone | \ ˈkȯr-nər-ˌstōn How to pronounce cornerstone (audio) \

Definition of cornerstone

1 : a stone forming a part of a corner or angle in a wall specifically : such a stone laid at a formal ceremony
2 : a basic element : foundation a cornerstone of foreign policy

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Examples of cornerstone in a Sentence

Officials held a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a new library. Trust is the cornerstone of their relationship.
Recent Examples on the Web This figure is the cornerstone of the Paris climate agreement and targets to reach net zero by 2050 are crucial parts of this. Robert Hart, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 But the cornerstone of the event, Kuniskis said, is street-legal drag racing on Woodward. Sam Fogel, Detroit Free Press, 13 Aug. 2021 Historically, the cornerstone of Levi’s business has been its sales of men’s jeans, but the company has been trying to balance that with more products aimed at young female customers. Marc Bain, Quartz, 6 Aug. 2021 The cornerstone of Iran’s economic and political resurrection was the nuclear deal brokered with the world’s six major powers in 2015, and President Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of it in 2018. Robin Wrigh, The New Yorker, 5 Aug. 2021 Along with property rights, religious liberty is the cornerstone of our unalienable rights. Michael R. Pompeo, National Review, 23 June 2021 And while shorts, breezy tees, and sandals are always go-tos in warmer months, the cornerstone of a complete summer wardrobe is still a great swimsuit. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, 4 June 2021 The cornerstone of my garden is a small area of heliopsis, a cheerful yellow flower that was planted by the previous owners of our house and has been reseeding itself and coming back every year for the past 16 years. Judy Hake,, 17 Apr. 2021 The cornerstone of homelessness policy in New York City is the right to shelter, which was established in August 1981, with the signing of the Callahan v. Carey consent decree. Megan Evershed, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for cornerstone

Time Traveler

The first known use of cornerstone was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near cornerstone

corner quad


corner tree

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Statistics for cornerstone

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cornerstone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for cornerstone



English Language Learners Definition of cornerstone

: a stone that forms part of a corner in the outside wall of a building and that often shows the date when the building was built
: something of basic importance

More from Merriam-Webster on cornerstone

Nglish: Translation of cornerstone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cornerstone for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cornerstone


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