Definition of cornerstone in US English:



  • 1An important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based.

    ‘a national minimum wage remained the cornerstone of policy’
    • ‘‘Majority rule’ is an important cornerstone of democracy.’
    • ‘First, you left out one of the most important cornerstones of most any combat engagement we've had for the last 30 years.’
    • ‘Yoga will continue to remain an important cornerstone, but I really need to make more time for weight training.’
    • ‘I've been thinking about this some more, and I've come to the conclusion that these four qualities are also the cornerstone of all good web sites.’
    • ‘Despite their adolescence, it is on these countries that the United States depends as a cornerstone of its energy policy.’
    • ‘Italy's membership of NATO will remain the cornerstone of the country's security and defence policy.’
    • ‘Few would deny that education is one of the most important cornerstones of all human societies.’
    • ‘In patients with diastolic dysfunction, the cornerstones of treatment depend on the underlying cause.’
    • ‘In building the structures and resources for nursing research, the development of a scientific community for nurse researchers is an important cornerstone.’
    • ‘Offering courses accessible to students around the state is in fact an important cornerstone of the North Dakota University System.’
    • ‘Our system of GPs is a cornerstone of quality health care.’
    • ‘This ritual educated me in some of the most important cornerstones of life: family, friends, and firewater.’
    • ‘Achieving these goals is an important cornerstone for the city to transform itself into a viable and vibrant city, a city in which its citizens will live with pride.’
    • ‘Family-owned businesses will continue to be an important cornerstone of the American business landscape.’
    • ‘Written goals and ongoing evaluation serve as the cornerstone of another important facet: documentation.’
    • ‘He said food safety was not negotiable and producers could simply not afford to compromise on hygiene, the cornerstone of quality.’
    • ‘Almost half a century since Feynman's discoveries, they remain cornerstones of theoretical physics.’
    • ‘All of these factors are important, but the cornerstone of any preservation system is the ability to say no to demolition.’
    • ‘Pride, dedication, and quality are the three cornerstones on which the company operates.’
    • ‘Wong's structure will not provide shade but a vision that represents three important cornerstones of our university community: students, businesses and faculty.’
    foundation, basis, keystone, mainspring, mainstay, linchpin, bedrock, fundament, base, key, fundamental principle, main ingredient, central component, centrepiece, core, heart, centre, focus, crux, prop, backbone, anchor
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  • 2A stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.

    • ‘Only the cornerstone of the building had been laid when the engraving was made.’
    • ‘If the cornerstone is not laid properly, a building will not stand properly.’
    • ‘For instance a corner of the mansion may have thirteen cornerstones going up its spine, and the level of the front door is three cornerstones above ground level.’
    • ‘Usually, I touch the cornerstones on the buildings, but Aunt Issa had said men would know I am a child from my hands and such a childish move.’
    • ‘‘Paul Kariya is like the cornerstone of a building; you build around him,’ Gauthier says.’
    • ‘These are cornerstones, flint stones, millstones, limestone, and milestones.’
    • ‘The recent case where a cornerstone of Taipei's old city wall was cut and used for a public art project has sparked debate among artists and cultural experts.’
    • ‘The cornerstone is so important that often it is inscribed and laid in an official ceremony that marks the beginning of a building's construction.’
    • ‘A stone is also symbolic of eternity, like the cornerstone of a building, placed to last for all time.’
    • ‘Much like modern buildings, the pyramid's cornerstones have balls and sockets built into them.’
    • ‘This is the cornerstone that must be laid carefully or the building will fall under the slightest duress.’