[ ed-uh-fi-key-shuhn ]
See synonyms for edification on Thesaurus.com
  1. an act of edifying.

  2. the state of being edified; uplift.

  1. moral improvement or guidance.

Origin of edification

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English (from Anglo-French ), from Latin aedificātiōn-, stem of aedificātiō “act or process of building; a building”; in Late Latin also “spiritual improvement”; see origin at edify, -fication;see also aedicule,

word story For edification

The many millions of Catholics who have attended parochial school will confirm that there is for the good nuns no more potent a word than edification (and the verb it is derived from, edify ). In Latin, the noun aedificātiō (stem aedificātiōn- ) means merely “the act or process of erecting a building, the building itself, an edifice, a collection of buildings, a built-up area.” These “building” senses also existed in English, but they are now rare or obsolete.
In the Vulgate (the Latin version of the Bible, prepared chiefly by Saint Jerome at the end of the 4th century), aedificātiō acquired the sense “spiritual development, improvement of the soul.” The current English sense “mental or moral improvement; instruction” dates from the mid-17th century.

Words Nearby edification

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use edification in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for edification


/ (ˌɛdɪfɪˈkeɪʃən) /

  1. improvement, instruction, or enlightenment, esp when morally or spiritually uplifting

  2. the act of edifying or state of being edified

Derived forms of edification

  • edificatory, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012