noun Architecture.

a slablike member beneath the base of a column or pier.
a square base or a lower block, as of a pedestal.
Also called plinth course. a projecting course of stones at the base of a wall; earth table.
(in joinery) a flat member at the bottom of an architrave, dado, baseboard, or the like.

Origin of plinth

1555–65; earlier plinthus < Latin < Greek plínthos plinth, squared stone, brick, tile
Related formsplinth·less, adjectiveplinth·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plinth

Contemporary Examples of plinth

  • I half-expected him to barnstorm out in riding boots and harangue us, Mussolini-style, underlit from a plinth.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama Frees His Mojo

    Tina Brown

    September 10, 2009

  • A giant toy duck was waddling on top of the fourth plinth when I arrived in Trafalgar Square mid-morning.

    The Daily Beast logo
    London's Living Sculptures

    Anthony Haden-Guest

    August 6, 2009

Historical Examples of plinth

  • As abruptly as he had leapt upon the plinth did he now leap down from it.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • The plinth, or base, is but slightly moulded, and is 23 inches in height.

  • But the lower will seem to be larger, because it will project to the edge of the plinth.

  • Mrs. Plinth looked disapproving, and Mrs. Ballinger visibly wavered.


    Edith Wharton

  • Mrs. Plinth enquired, still distrustful of Mrs. Roby's thoroughness.


    Edith Wharton

British Dictionary definitions for plinth



Also called: socle the rectangular slab or block that forms the lowest part of the base of a column, statue, pedestal, or pier
Also called: plinth course the lowest part of the wall of a building that appears above ground level, esp one that is formed of a course of stone or brick
a flat block on either side of a doorframe, where the architrave meets the skirting
a flat base on which a structure or piece of equipment is placed

Word Origin for plinth

C17: from Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos brick, shaped stone
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 plinth

1610s, from French plinthe (16c.) and directly from Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos "brick, squared stone," cognate with Old English flint (see flint).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper