Definition of monolith in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmänəˌliTH/


1A large single upright block of stone, especially one shaped into or serving as a pillar or monument.
Example sentences
  • The ancient monoliths, pyramids, stone circles and grand statues were not just art or architecture.
  • The history of the area goes back much further than Byron, however, as the monoliths of Castlerigg Stone Circle testify.
  • The five explorers carefully crept through the ruins, past tall stone monoliths and crumbled walls.
standing stone, menhir, megalith, sarsen (stone)
1.1A very large and characterless building: the 72-story monolith overlooking the waterfront
More example sentences
  • Within the dark urban monolith that is the Tower building lies an organisation at the cutting edge of eco-tourism.
  • With a few simple words, official honesty was once again the order of business inside the glass-fronted monolith overlooking the East River.
  • The skyscrapers on the west side of Shinjuku station were the same; dark monoliths, corroded to half-height by the fog.
1.2A large block of concrete sunk in water, e.g., in the building of a dock.
2A large and impersonal political, corporate, or social structure regarded as intractably indivisible and uniform: the dominance of broadcasting monoliths limits local programming
More example sentences
  • If the Constitution becomes the basis for the enforceable spread of one sect's values, then evangelism really will have become a political monolith.
  • The experience suggests that the monolith of corporate culture is only a partial reality.
  • The meeting is symbolic of Coleman's transition from a top executive at a corporate monolith to founder of a bootstrapping software company.


Mid 19th century: from French monolithe, from Greek monolithos, from monos 'single' + lithos 'stone'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mon·o·lith

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