mau·​so·​le·​um ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-əm How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) ˌmȯ-zə- How to pronounce mausoleum (audio)
plural mausoleums or mausolea ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-ə How to pronounce mausoleum (audio)
: a large tomb
especially : a usually stone building with places for entombment of the dead above ground
: a large gloomy building or room
she invited him out of the mausoleum of a parlour into the kitchen D. H. Lawrence

Did you know?

Mausolus was ruler of a kingdom in Asia Minor in the 4th century B.C. He beautified the capital, Halicarnassus, with all sorts of fine public buildings, but he is best known for the magnificent monument, the Mausoleum, that was built by his wife Artemisia after his death. With its great height (perhaps 140 feet) and many beautiful sculptures, the Mausoleum was declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Though Halicarnassus was repeatedly attacked, the Mausoleum would survive for well over 1,000 years.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Diplomats and other foreign leaders, including President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the neighboring Republic of Congo, also attended the service at the mausoleum, the AP reported. Amy Cheng, Washington Post, 1 July 2022 Also, donation boxes were pried open in four of the mausoleum buildings but no money was missing. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 23 Sep. 2022 Buster said King’s mausoleum was smeared with a gallon of black paint. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 27 Sep. 2022 Someone spray-painted a statue and benches in the Holy Cross Cemetery mausoleum, 14609 Brookpark. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 23 Sep. 2022 Westview Abbey, a mausoleum at an Atlanta cemetery. Catherine E. Shoichet And Austin Steele, CNN, 10 Sep. 2022 Last night, the first runway of New York Fashion Week appeared in front of Ulysses S. Grant’s final resting place, a domed mausoleum illuminated with pink lights on West 122th street in Morningside Heights. Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Sep. 2022 Heche's spot in the mausoleum in the cemetery's Garden of Legends is near that of Mickey Rooney, and faces a lake where Burt Reynolds' remains were recently relocated. Andrew Dalton, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2022 At the age of 16, before celebrating her first wedding anniversary, she was buried in her husband’s mausoleum. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Latin, from Greek mausōleion, from Mausōlos Mausolus †about 353 b.c., ruler of Caria

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mausoleum was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mausoleum

Cite this Entry

“Mausoleum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



mau·​so·​le·​um ˌmȯ-sə-ˈlē-əm How to pronounce mausoleum (audio) ˌmȯ-zə- How to pronounce mausoleum (audio)
plural mausoleums or -lea
: a large or fancy tomb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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