Definition of plinth in English:



  • 1A heavy base supporting a statue or vase.

    • ‘At the other end of the park were Keith Edmier's two pint-sized commemorative bronze statues of men in uniform, mounted on granite plinths.’
    • ‘To reinforce this idea, stone paving and a series of plinths, platforms and benches, which create settings for sculpture and places to sit during the day, are also lit during the evenings.’
    • ‘I was horrified when I got up to find the statue missing from its plinth.’
    • ‘Art is everywhere, in the museums, galleries or churches, but also in the stonework, on carved doorways, on plinths and balconies, and in the soft light that evening casts across the pink and russet walls and towers.’
    • ‘Thieves appear to have tried to pull the 3ft-high lion down from its plinth on top of a 12 ft stone pillar.’
    • ‘Other suggestions: paint the metal stairs a warmer colour, carpet the lounge with a natural-coloured rug so lounge and stairs are more in keeping, and install some plinths to mount the garden sculptures and make a feature of them.’
    • ‘The statues' plinths still remain on either side of the tower, nevertheless.’
    • ‘Appointed a marshal in 1918, on the plinth of his statue in London are the words ‘I am conscious of having served England as I served my own country.’’
    • ‘There is a small ironstone statue on a brick plinth by the gate.’
    • ‘Sited on a lofty plinth, the three-storied marble structure has all the hallmarks of exquisite art.’
    • ‘A huge marble bust of Marx stands on a plinth at one end of the grave, which also contains the remains of his wife Jenny.’
    • ‘The plinth for the statue will be some two feet higher than originally planned in the interests of health and safety and to prevent vandalism.’
    • ‘Agreement could not subsequently be reached as to which hero or monarch should be depicted and the plinth therefore remained empty for 158 years.’
    • ‘The large pieces are 68 to 76 inches tall, and, standing on low plinths, the figures are well over life-size.’
    • ‘Keighley town councillors say a railing around the plinth would enhance and protect the 80 year-old statue.’
    • ‘We are happy to help them clean up the plinth of the statue.’
    • ‘The birds he depicts are stiff, seemingly stuffed, mounted on plinths and piled in heaps.’
    • ‘London's city council recently announced a competition among sculptors to top the empty plinth with a statue.’
    • ‘The 12 ft high statue and plinth, with its magnificent views of the Trossachs towards Loch Lomond, can be seen from miles around.’
    support, cutwater, pile, piling, pedestal, foot, footing, abutment, buttress, stanchion, prop, stay, upright, pillar, post, column
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Architecture The lower square slab at the base of a column.
      • ‘Finally, in 1838, the architect Alessandro Della Gherardesca dug a walkway called the catino around the base of the tower to expose the buried foundation steps and column plinths.’
      • ‘From the malleable scrapings Antonin fashioned plinths, column tops and pedestals.’
      • ‘Only the foundations and stone plinths remained, defining the size and location of the pavilions.’
      • ‘The original Mosque has undergone extensive repairs, but traces of the original construction are seen in the plinth, the columns and the roof which are in the old traditional styles of Hindu temples.’
      • ‘The cast concrete plinths supporting the dark-stained posts were designed after similar ones in a temple in Kyoto.’
      base, support, bottom, bed, foot, substructure, mounting, platform, stand, foundation, pillar, column, pier
      View synonyms


Late 16th century: from Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos ‘tile, brick, squared stone’. The Latin form was in early use in English.