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Definitions

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

Etymologies

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)

Examples

Comments

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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