Definition of edifice in English:



  • 1A large, imposing building.

    • ‘It serves as the local church now, and it's a little disconcerting to see the homely parish notices posted up in such an imposing edifice.’
    • ‘Golden light peaked out around the edges of the stone edifices, causing the building to appear black in hue.’
    • ‘But Isabella was intuitively convinced of a distinct lack of life within the ancient stone edifice.’
    • ‘Note that restrictions on the building of religious edifices by minorities are common in Eurasia.’
    • ‘We have opted to build strong relationships with players instead of building billion-dollar edifices.’
    • ‘It is an imposing edifice, a mock temple based on the classical Greek model, with a fine pediment and no fewer than six columns.’
    • ‘Present-day government buildings are often old brick edifices left over from the Soviet period.’
    • ‘The imposing Victorian edifice on North Bridge in Edinburgh which once housed the capital's daily newspapers is now making news in its own right.’
    • ‘Thankfully, she managed to locate the tall brick edifice.’
    • ‘Forget your monuments, buildings and other such edifices, this city has trees.’
    • ‘Residential buildings and public edifices were built on a far larger scale than in previous years.’
    • ‘Building these three, giant, rolling, temple-like edifices new every twelve months is no small task.’
    • ‘On the far side of the crumbling brick edifice a bloated half moon hung low in the sky.’
    • ‘Magnificent edifices such as the Liver building were erected with the proceeds of the slave and spice trades.’
    • ‘However, Top of the Rock does have a rather good view of a certain imposing art-deco edifice: the Empire State Building.’
    • ‘Prominent edifices such as historic structures, public buildings, churches, synagogues, and high rises get special treatment.’
    • ‘They both paused in front of the magnificent edifice in which they worked before Jack got the door.’
    • ‘The white band is the campaign's symbol, worn on the wrist, the arm, the head, or on July 1, international White Band Day, entire buildings and edifices.’
    • ‘The city was no mongrel conglomeration of edifices built independently of one another, but a single, flowing ocean of architecture that stretched on to the horizon.’
    • ‘Each tries to outdo the other and some of them are towering edifices.’
    building, structure, construction, erection, pile, complex, assembly
    property, development, premises, establishment, place
    View synonyms
  • 2A complex system of beliefs.

    ‘the concepts on which the edifice of capitalism was built’
    • ‘The collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 brought down with it the fragile European edifice.’
    • ‘We need to recognize the defects of the old system and throw it out, before the entire edifice of any justice in Indian society collapses.’
    • ‘So the explanation comes and the whole edifice crumbles.’
    • ‘We have built a whole superstructure, a constitutional edifice, on that basis.’
    • ‘There has been no acknowledgment of the mistaken assumptions on which the modern edifice rests.’
    • ‘All societies have moral rules, but only a few have elaborated them into systems - into what might be called moral edifices.’
    • ‘Incorrectly labelling them as' illegal immigrants', they build a vast edifice of repression.’
    • ‘For a very brief moment the edifice of post-cold war global capitalism looked as if it was gazing over a very steep precipice.’
    • ‘How can we raise a secure and objective historiographical edifice on such flimsy foundations?’
    • ‘Indeed, one act of violence is enough to bring down the whole edifice of peace-building.’
    • ‘The entire edifice of opera subsidy, supposedly designed to make opera accessible, has had to rely instead on a private company.’
    • ‘Only workers are able and willing to challenge the whole edifice of capitalist injustice.’
    • ‘Among the core fantasies on which the entire edifice rests is the belief that something called True Love exists.’
    • ‘It seems the whole global capitalist edifice lies rather uncomfortably on the shoulders of the humble shopper.’
    • ‘Justice theorists have constructed impressive edifices by refining traditional notions of fairness and responsibility.’
    • ‘By the end of the 19th century it had become an imposing theoretical edifice.’
    • ‘Scalia's entire legal edifice is built not upon words, but upon a single understanding of a word.’
    • ‘The war on terror was founded on an edifice of illusions that virtually no one in the US policy community questioned.’
    • ‘From this the reviewer assumed that I was black and on that assumption raised a towering edifice of racial criticism.’
    • ‘Poverty and wars are becoming the order of the world threatening to demolish the very edifice patriarchal capitalism strives to protect.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin aedificium, from aedis dwelling + facere make.