Definition of basilica in English:

basilica

Line breaks: ba¦sil|ica
Pronunciation: /bəˈsɪlɪkə
 
, -ˈzɪl-/

noun

1A large oblong hall or building with double colonnades and a semicircular apse, used in ancient Rome as a law court or for public assemblies.
More example sentences
  • Kent's solution was to devise an original interior combining element from Vitruvius's Egyptian Hall, the colonnaded basilicas of ancient Rome, and the frieze from the Temple of Fortuna Virilis in Rome.
  • It had an assembly hall, or basilica, where the orders were issued, and there was a shrine to the imperial cult, where statues of the Emperor were kept.
  • The resources required to deliver a combination of projects of road building, laying out of street grids, the provision of forums, basilicas, public baths, etc. were not such as to lead to a rapid execution.
1.1A building similar to a Roman basilica, used as a Christian church.
More example sentences
  • It's also tiny, with about 27 miles of coastline, a capital town called Victoria, 17 other villages, dozens of magnificent churches, a cathedral and a basilica.
  • Dodona is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, home not only to a shrine to the oracle but also to ruins of a temple to the Greek god Zeus and an early Christian basilica.
  • Remains of an early Christian funerary basilica dating back to the 5th century have been brought to light in Marseilles.
1.2The name given to certain churches granted special privileges by the Pope.
More example sentences
  • A humble priest saying Mass with the poor in a slum of Mexico City effects the same mystery as does the cardinal archbishop in his cathedral or the pope in the basilica of St. Peter's.
  • The basilica takes its name from John the Baptist and John the apostle, and also from the Laterani, the family of Constantine's wife, who donated the land on which the church stands.
  • Vatican archeologists believe that they have identified the tomb of St. Paul in the Roman basilica that bears his name.

Origin

mid 16th century: from Latin, literally 'royal palace', from Greek basilikē, feminine of basilikos 'royal', from basileus 'king'.

Derivatives

basilican

adjective
More example sentences
  • The religious structure, which from initial inspection measures about 15 meters [49.2 feet] wide, follows a basilican plan with no transept, a marble flooring, and a very beautiful mosaic.
  • Paired with the Labors of Adam and Eve in the British Library and Huntington Library Speculum books is an image of Noah's ark, a bargelike vessel with a basilican superstructure beneath a dove with outstretched wings.
  • The building is basilican in plan with service spaces and exhibit spaces on either side of a central circulation spine.

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