from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A building, especially one of imposing appearance or size.
  • n. An elaborate conceptual structure: observations that provided the foundation for the edifice of evolutionary theory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A building; a structure; an architectural fabric, especially an imposing one; a large or fine building, public or private.
  • n. An abstract structure; a school of thought.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A building; a structure; an architectural fabric; -- chiefly applied to elegant houses, and other large buildings.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A building; a structure; an architectural fabric: applied chiefly to large or fine buildings, public or private.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin aedificium, from aedificāre, to build : aedis, a building + -ficāre, -fy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English edifice, from Old French edifice, reborrowed from Latin aedificium ("building"), derived from aedificāre ("to build, establish") (whence also edify). (Wiktionary)



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  • I was reminded of this word through my Spanish studies: "edificio" is much more commonly used than its English counterpart, as we English-speakers are more prone to using "building."

    December 16, 2007