Definition of edifice in English:



  • 1A building, especially a large, imposing one.

    • ‘Present-day government buildings are often old brick edifices left over from the Soviet period.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thankfully, she managed to locate the tall brick edifice.’
    • ‘Forget your monuments, buildings and other such edifices, this city has trees.’
    • ‘Golden light peaked out around the edges of the stone edifices, causing the building to appear black in hue.’
    • ‘Building these three, giant, rolling, temple-like edifices new every twelve months is no small task.’
    • ‘They both paused in front of the magnificent edifice in which they worked before Jack got the door.’
    • ‘On the far side of the crumbling brick edifice a bloated half moon hung low in the sky.’
    • ‘But Isabella was intuitively convinced of a distinct lack of life within the ancient stone edifice.’
    • ‘Prominent edifices such as historic structures, public buildings, churches, synagogues, and high rises get special treatment.’
    • ‘Residential buildings and public edifices were built on a far larger scale than in previous years.’
    • ‘However, Top of the Rock does have a rather good view of a certain imposing art-deco edifice: the Empire State Building.’
    • ‘Each tries to outdo the other and some of them are towering 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Note that restrictions on the building of religious edifices by minorities are common in Eurasia.’
    • ‘Magnificent edifices such as the Liver building were erected with the proceeds of the slave and spice trades.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    building, structure, construction, erection, pile, complex, assembly
    View synonyms
  • 2A complex system of beliefs.

    ‘the concepts on which the edifice of capitalism was built’
    • ‘The entire edifice of opera subsidy, supposedly designed to make opera accessible, has had to rely instead on a private company.’
    • ‘Scalia's entire legal edifice is built not upon words, but upon a single understanding of a word.’
    • ‘The collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971 brought down with it the fragile European edifice.’
    • ‘We have built a whole superstructure, a constitutional edifice, on that basis.’
    • ‘Indeed, one act of violence is enough to bring down the whole edifice of peace-building.’
    • ‘Incorrectly labelling them as' illegal immigrants', they build a vast edifice of repression.’
    • ‘By the end of the 19th century it had become an imposing theoretical edifice.’
    • ‘For a very brief moment the edifice of post-cold war global capitalism looked as if it was gazing over a very steep precipice.’
    • ‘All societies have moral rules, but only a few have elaborated them into systems - into what might be called moral edifices.’
    • ‘Poverty and wars are becoming the order of the world threatening to demolish the very edifice patriarchal capitalism strives to protect.’
    • ‘From this the reviewer assumed that I was black and on that assumption raised a towering edifice of racial criticism.’
    • ‘There has been no acknowledgment of the mistaken assumptions on which the modern edifice rests.’
    • ‘The war on terror was founded on an edifice of illusions that virtually no one in the US policy community questioned.’
    • ‘How can we raise a secure and objective historiographical edifice on such flimsy foundations?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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