• synonyms


[maw-suh-lee-uh m, -zuh-]
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noun, plural mau·so·le·ums, mau·so·le·a [maw-suh-lee-uh, -zuh-] /ˌmɔ səˈli ə, -zə-/.
  1. a stately and magnificent tomb.
  2. a burial place for the bodies or remains of many individuals, often of a single family, usually in the form of a small building.
  3. a large, gloomy, depressing building, room, or the like.
  4. (initial capital letter) the tomb erected at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor in 350? b.c.
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Origin of mausoleum

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin < Greek Mausoleîon the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria
Related formsmau·so·le·an, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for mausoleum

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The revisiting of old scenes is like walking into a mausoleum.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • But you know that my memory is merely a mausoleum of proper names.


    Joseph Conrad

  • And they went likewise to see the figure of our Lawgiver in the Pope's mausoleum.

  • One could not mistake a group from the temple at Phigaleia for a group from the Mausoleum.

  • His remains were afterwards removed to the mausoleum at Frogmore.

British Dictionary definitions for mausoleum


noun plural -leums or -lea (-ˈlɪə)
  1. a large stately tomb
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Derived Formsmausolean, adjective

Word Origin

C16: via Latin from Greek mausōleion, the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria; built at Halicarnassus in the 4th century bc
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 mausoleum


"magnificent tomb," 1540s, from Latin mausoleum, from Greek Mausoleion, name of the massive marble tomb built 353 B.C.E. at Halicarnassus (Greek city in Asia Minor) for Mausolos, Persian satrap who made himself king of Caria. It was built by his wife (and sister), Artemisia. Counted among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the Middle Ages. General sense of "any stately burial-place" is from c.1600.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mausoleum in Culture


[(maw-suh-lee-uhm, maw-zuh-lee-uhm)]

A tomb, or a building containing tombs. Mausoleums are often richly decorated. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.