Definition of monolith in English:


Line breaks: mono|lith
Pronunciation: /ˈmɒn(ə)lɪθ


  • 1A large single upright block of stone, especially one shaped into or serving as a pillar or monument: we passed Stonehenge, the strange stone monoliths silhouetted against the horizon
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    • 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, sarsen (stone), megalith
  • 1.1A very large and characterless building: the 72-storey monolith overlooking the waterfront
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    • 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, impersonal political, corporate, or social structure regarded as indivisible and slow to change: independent voices have been crowded out by the media monoliths
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    • 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'.

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