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See more synonyms for edifice on Thesaurus.com
  1. a building, especially one of large size or imposing appearance.
  2. any large, complex system or organization.
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Origin of edifice

1350–1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French < Latin aedificium, equivalent to aedific(āre) to build (see edify) + -ium -ium
Related formsed·i·fi·cial [ed-uh-fish-uh l] /ˌɛd əˈfɪʃ əl/, adjectiveun·ed·i·fi·cial, adjective

Synonym study

1. See building.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for edifice


  1. a building, esp a large or imposing one
  2. a complex or elaborate institution or organization
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Derived Formsedificial (ˌɛdɪˈfɪʃəl), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Latin aedificium, from aedificāre to build; see edify
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

Word Origin and History for edifice


late 14c., from Old French edifice "building," from Latin aedificium "building," from aedificare "to erect a building," from aedis, variant of aedes "temple, sanctuary," usually a single edifice without partitions, also, in the plural, "dwelling house, building," originally "a place with a hearth" + the root of facere "to make" (see factitious).

Ædis is from PIE *aidh- "to burn" (cf. Greek aithein "to burn," Sanskrit inddhe "burst into flames," Old Irish aed "fire," Welsh aidd "heat, zeal," Old High German eit "funeral pile"), from root *ai- "to burn."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper