Definition of mausoleum in US English:


nounPlural mausolea, Plural mausoleums

  • A building, especially a large and stately one, housing a tomb or tombs.

    • ‘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 more illustrious and affluent dead were interred beneath mausolea in the form of temples or domestic houses, commemorative arches, and columns.’
    • ‘Was she under house arrest in her palace, or had she locked herself in her mausoleum?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The boxiness of museums also suggests coffins, crypts, and mausoleums; museums are places of mourning as well as ecstatic communion.’
    • ‘Intended to serve as a dynastic mausoleum, it houses one of England's most dazzling collections of aristocratic tombs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were people grieving by their family's mausoleums and crypts.’
    • ‘To qualify as worthy of preservation, particularly if public money is to be spent, buildings must be more than mausoleums.’
    • ‘Broadway these days is a no man's land for new musicals, and a museum, a mausoleum, for old ones.’
    • ‘The city rose to this challenge, not with banks of sterile oven-slot tombs but with dazzlingly elaborate mausoleums.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cemeteries, tombs, and mausoleums are described from the point of view of art history and archaeology.’
    • ‘In the public sphere, great public buildings, monuments, temples and mausoleums are a sign of excess.’
    • ‘Idealised, geometric plans and an architectural vocabulary drawn from quite different building types - mausolea and monuments - were to preoccupy him.’
    • ‘We forget that many great works of art were not created for the mausoleums we call museums.’
    • ‘Massive in scale, three stories and fifty meters high, it appears as much a palace as a mausoleum.’
    • ‘Do not destroy the temples and mausoleums of the community and people who abide by the rules and laws of the government.’
    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.