[ ed-uh-fis ]
/ ˈɛd ə fɪs /


a building, especially one of large size or imposing appearance.
any large, complex system or organization.

Nearby words

  1. edict of nantes,
  2. edicule,
  3. edie,
  4. edification,
  5. edificatory,
  6. edificial,
  7. edify,
  8. edifying,
  9. edile,
  10. edina

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for edifice

British Dictionary definitions for edifice


/ (ˈɛdɪfɪs) /


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

Word Origin for edifice

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper