- an early Christian or medieval church of the type built especially in Italy, characterized by a plan including a nave, two or four side aisles, a semicircular apse, a narthex, and often other features, as a short transept, a number of small semicircular apses terminating the aisles, or an atrium. The interior is characterized by strong horizontality, with little or no attempt at rhythmic accents. All spaces are usually covered with timber roofs or ceilings except for the apse or apses, which are vaulted.
- one of the seven main churches of Rome or another Roman Catholic church accorded the same religious privileges.
- (in ancient Rome) a large oblong building used as a hall of justice and public meeting place.
Origin of basilica
Examples from the Web for basilica
What Francis said to Law when the two of them met and briefly embraced at the Rome basilica is not known.From Dirty War to Child Abuse, Church’s Past Confronts Pope Francis
March 17, 2013
The basilica is one of a handful of churches outside the walls of Vatican City owned by the Holy See.Italian Police Probe Vatican, Mafia Links in Teen’s Disappearance 30 Years Ago
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 17, 2012
The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a church where the faithful come to pray for cures.'Our Teddy Changed America'
August 29, 2009
The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is not the biggest church in Boston, but it has two pieces of history.Teddy's Catholic Pain
August 26, 2009
Indeed the form of the construction of our churches was taken from these Roman basilica.English Villages
P. H. Ditchfield
It is evident that the Grotto would be hers, the Basilica also.
He was tempted to return to the Basilica, and cry the truth aloud to Marie.
On entering the basilica Pierre had fancied that it was quite empty and lifeless.
A disagreeable surprise met Pierre on his entry into the Basilica.
- a Roman building, used for public administration, having a large rectangular central nave with an aisle on each side and an apse at the end
- a rectangular early Christian or medieval church, usually having a nave with clerestories, two or four aisles, one or more vaulted apses, and a timber roof
- a Roman Catholic church having special ceremonial rights
Word Origin and History for basilica
1540s, from Latin basilica "building of a court of justice," and, by extension, church built on the plan of one, from Greek (stoa) basilike "royal (portal)," the portico of the archon basileus, the official who dispensed justice in Athens, from basileus "king" (see Basil). In Rome, applied specifically to the seven principal churches founded by Constantine.