Definition of mausoleum in English:



  • A stately or impressive building housing a tomb or group of tombs.

    ‘the cathedral was built in 1517 as a royal mausoleum’
    figurative ‘a cultural mausoleum such as the Tate’
    • ‘So now when I go to one of our fabulous temples or palaces or mosques or mausoleums, I will see them for what they are.’
    • ‘Idealised, geometric plans and an architectural vocabulary drawn from quite different building types - mausolea and monuments - were to preoccupy him.’
    • ‘Because it's small, no one loathes it the way they hate the big-box stores that sit like pharonic mausoleums in a blacktop desert.’
    • ‘The more illustrious and affluent dead were interred beneath mausolea in the form of temples or domestic houses, commemorative arches, and columns.’
    • ‘There were people grieving by their family's mausoleums and crypts.’
    • ‘In the public sphere, great public buildings, monuments, temples and mausoleums are a sign of excess.’
    • ‘Do not destroy the temples and mausoleums of the community and people who abide by the rules and laws of the government.’
    • ‘Intended to serve as a dynastic mausoleum, it houses one of England's most dazzling collections of aristocratic tombs.’
    • ‘It featured individuals and families who, because of divorce, bereavement, illness or some other trauma, had allowed their homes to become mausoleums of loss and longing.’
    • ‘To qualify as worthy of preservation, particularly if public money is to be spent, buildings must be more than mausoleums.’
    • ‘We forget that many great works of art were not created for the mausoleums we call museums.’
    • ‘Broadway these days is a no man's land for new musicals, and a museum, a mausoleum, for old ones.’
    • ‘Cemeteries, tombs, and mausoleums are described from the point of view of art history and archaeology.’
    • ‘The city rose to this challenge, not with banks of sterile oven-slot tombs but with dazzlingly elaborate mausoleums.’
    • ‘Between this and the canal we discovered warehouses, mausolea and other buildings that fronted on to the road.’
    • ‘The most painful result of this shortage can be seen in mausoleums (small buildings for burial above ground) of cemeteries of Cairo, Egypt's capital city.’
    • ‘The boxiness of museums also suggests coffins, crypts, and mausoleums; museums are places of mourning as well as ecstatic communion.’
    • ‘Was she under house arrest in her palace, or had she locked herself in her mausoleum?’
    • ‘The great nineteenth-century cemeteries, laid out as parks outside cities and filled with elaborate stone tombs and mausolea, have long been seen as problems after years of neglect and - worse - vandalism.’
    • ‘Massive in scale, three stories and fifty meters high, it appears as much a palace as a mausoleum.’
    tomb, sepulchre, crypt, vault, charnel house, burial chamber, catacomb, undercroft
    View synonyms


Late 15th century: via Latin from Greek Mausōleion, from Mausōlos, the name of a king of Caria (4th century BC), to whose tomb in Halicarnassus the name was originally applied.