Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A tall, four-sided shaft of stone, usually tapered and monolithic, that rises to a pointed pyramidal top.
  • noun The dagger sign (†), used especially as a reference mark.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tapering shaft of rectangular plan, generally finished with a pyramidal apex.
  • noun In printing and writing, a sign resembling a small dagger (), and hence also called a dagger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An upright, four-sided pillar, gradually tapering as it rises, and terminating in a pyramid called pyramidion. It is ordinarily monolithic. Egyptian obelisks are commonly covered with hieroglyphic writing from top to bottom.
  • noun (Print.) A mark of reference; -- called also dagger [†]. See Dagger, n., 2.
  • transitive verb To mark or designate with an obelisk.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A tall, square, tapered, stone monolith topped with a pyramidal point, frequently used as a monument.
  • noun printing The dagger sign (†), especially when used as a reference mark.

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

  • noun a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
  • noun a stone pillar having a rectangular cross section tapering towards a pyramidal top

Etymologies

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

[Latin obeliscus, from Greek obeliskos, diminutive of obelos, a spit, obelisk.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1569. From Middle French obelisque, from Latin obeliscus ("obelisk"), from Ancient Greek ὀβελίσκος (obeliskos), diminutive of ὀβελός (obelos, "needle").

Examples

  • Well, moving the obelisk is something spectacular at that time, and even attracting people.

    Moving the Vatican Obelisk

  • The great obelisk is but one of the many cases in point.

    A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

  • The colossi are of black granite; the obelisk is of red, highly polished, and covered on all four sides with superb hieroglyphs in three vertical columns.

    A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

  • On the other side of the water, the New York Sun called the obelisk "terrific humbug," and "only a broken, decaying and disfigured old block of stone."

    'Encyclopedia of the Exquisite: An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights'

  • Today, the obelisk is a common sight in cemeteries across America, standing as memorials to the deceased.

    Touring the New York City Obelisks

  • It was so far off her personal awareness sensors that the obelisk was the first artifact Abramowitz had ever physically encountered from the planet, an admission she made somewhat sheepishly considering her role as a cultural specialist attached to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

    Creative Couplings

  • It was so far off her personal awareness sensors that the obelisk was the first artifact Abramowitz had ever physically encountered from the planet, an admission she made somewhat sheepishly considering her role as a cultural specialist attached to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

    Creative Couplings

  • It was so far off her personal awareness sensors that the obelisk was the first artifact Abramowitz had ever physically encountered from the planet, an admission she made somewhat sheepishly considering her role as a cultural specialist attached to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

    Creative Couplings

  • "Our prime minister tells us that the return of the obelisk is a Tigrian affair, not the business of us southern people," says Alemayehu, an ethnic Oromo who works for a non-governmental organization that helps the rural poor outside the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Special Report: The Axum Obelisk Returns, but Some Still Grumble

  • It was so far off her personal awareness sensors that the obelisk was the first artifact Abramowitz had ever physically encountered from the planet, an admission she made somewhat sheepishly considering her role as a cultural specialist attached to the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.

    Creative Couplings

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