[maw-suh-lee-uh m, -zuh-]

noun, plural mau·so·le·ums, mau·so·le·a [maw-suh-lee-uh, -zuh-] /ˌmɔ səˈli ə, -zə-/.

a stately and magnificent tomb.
a burial place for the bodies or remains of many individuals, often of a single family, usually in the form of a small building.
a large, gloomy, depressing building, room, or the like.
(initial capital letter) the tomb erected at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor in 350? b.c.

Origin of mausoleum

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin < Greek Mausoleîon the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria
Related formsmau·so·le·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for mausoleum

burial, vault, cemetery, coffin, monument, crypt, sepulcher, catacomb, grave

Examples from the Web for mausoleum

Contemporary Examples of mausoleum

  • My parents are building a mausoleum for themselves in my childhood home.

    The Daily Beast logo
    I’m a Digital Hoarder

    Lizzie Crocker

    December 17, 2014

  • During the restoration process, volunteers discovered plaques documenting a list of the dead contained within the mausoleum.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Princess Diana's Irish Roots

    Tom Sykes

    February 28, 2014

  • Alone with the “mausoleum of sounds” that is her memory she must record her past “before it becomes tinnitus and is lost.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Must Read Novels

    Lucy Scholes, John Wilwol, Randy Rosenthal, Nina MacLaughlin

    August 4, 2011

Historical Examples of mausoleum

  • 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)

a large stately tomb
Derived Formsmausolean, adjective

Word Origin for mausoleum

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.

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.

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.