[buh-sil-i-kuh, -zil-]
an early Christian or medieval church of the type built especially in Italy, characterized by a plan including a nave, two or four side aisles, a semicircular apse, a narthex, and often other features, as a short transept, a number of small semicircular apses terminating the aisles, or an atrium. The interior is characterized by strong horizontality, with little or no attempt at rhythmic accents. All spaces are usually covered with timber roofs or ceilings except for the apse or apses, which are vaulted.
one of the seven main churches of Rome or another Roman Catholic church accorded the same religious privileges.
(in ancient Rome) a large oblong building used as a hall of justice and public meeting place.

1535–45; < Latin < Greek basilikḗ hall, short for basilikḗ oikía royal house. See basilic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To basilica
World English Dictionary
basilica (bəˈzɪlɪkə)
1.  a Roman building, used for public administration, having a large rectangular central nave with an aisle on each side and an apse at the end
2.  a rectangular early Christian or medieval church, usually having a nave with clerestories, two or four aisles, one or more vaulted apses, and a timber roof
3.  a Roman Catholic church having special ceremonial rights
[C16: from Latin, from Greek basilikē hall, from basilikē oikia the king's house, from basileus king; see basil]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. basilica "building of a court of justice," and, by extension, church built on the plan of one, from Gk. (stoa) basilike "royal (portal)," the portico of the archon basileus, the official who dispensed justice in Athens, from basileus "king" (see Basil). In Rome,
applied specifically to the seven principal churches founded by Constantine.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
basilica [(buh-sil-uh-kuh)]

A large Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox church building. A basilica is built with several parallel aisles separated by rows of columns, ending in a semicircular structure, the apse. Saint Peter's Basilica is the church of the Vatican in Rome.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Graceful rows of columns stretched the length of the basilica, watching over the church's ornate mosaic floor.
Provided the priest has his basilica and his altar, he has nothing further to say in the matter.
With historians seemingly satisfied that this head is indeed the head of the king, it is headed back to the basilica.
Almost as impressive as its size is the haste with which the basilica went up.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature