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

  • adj. Constituting a monolith: a monolithic sculpture.
  • adj. Massive, solid, and uniform: the monolithic proportions of Stalinist architecture.
  • adj. Constituting or acting as a single, often rigid, uniform whole: a monolithic worldwide movement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or resembling a monolith.
  • adj. Having a massive, unchanging structure that does not permit individual variation.
  • adj. consisting of a single program using a single memory-addressing space

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a monolith; consisting of a single stone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Formed of a single stone, as an obelisk or the shaft of a column.
  • Consisting of monoliths: as, a monolithic circle.
  • Of or pertaining to a monolith.
  • Made of one mass of artificial stone, as a concrete of broken stone, cement, and sand, without joints: used in structures such as mills and houses, dams, retaining-walls, and bridge abutments and piers, floors, columns, and other similar constructions.

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

  • adj. characterized by massiveness and rigidity and total uniformity
  • adj. imposing in size or bulk or solidity


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The word monolithic has appeared in 79 New York Times articles in the past year, including on Aug. 26 in "Beats, Bikes, Skateboards and the Big Time" by Melena Ryzik:

    NYT > Home Page

  • Learn more about the word "monolithic" and see usage examples across a range of subjects on the dictionary.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Christians to "stand up" to what he describes as a monolithic Muslim threat.

    Propeller Most Popular Stories

  • Often, Saudi Arabia is described as monolithic and insensitive to modernity and liberalization.

    The Coming Revolution

  • Whoever planted these bombs might view London in monolithic terms (a Crusader city, maybe?), but that bears no relation to the make-up of the city itself.


  • Religions look monolithic from a distance, but closer up they are a collection of debates.

    Late news from Wittenberg

  • Thus the Times culture, which appears so monolithic from the outside, actually consists of two distinct and parallel cultures, each fully cognizant of the other: the culture of achievement and the culture of complaint.

    My Times

  • Islam is usually talked about in monolithic terms (or, at most, in terms of the Shia-Sunni divide), but one almost never hears about the 50 million or so members of the Naqshabandiya order of Sufi Islam, which is strong in Central Asia and India, or about the more than 20 million members of various schismatic Muslim groups around the world.

    Oh, Gods!

  • While teachers unions are often referred to as a monolithic body, that is far from the reality.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • And the "San Francisco Chronicle" reported as far back as three years ago that Dean said this about what he called the monolithic GOP: "They all behave the same.

    CNN Transcript Aug 15, 2008


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