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[ed-uh-fis] /ˈɛd ə fɪs/
a building, especially one of large size or imposing appearance.
any large, complex system or organization.
1350-1400; Middle English < Anglo-French, Middle French < Latin aedificium, equivalent to aedific(āre) to build (see edify) + -ium -ium
Related forms
[ed-uh-fish-uh l] /ˌɛd əˈfɪʃ əl/ (Show IPA),
unedificial, adjective
1. See building. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for edifices
  • He also erected hundreds of new churches, libraries and public edifices throughout the empire.
  • Once peoples have permanent housing these edifices will be used for the warehousing of products and goods of the revived nation.
  • But some of these hallowed edifices are crumbling and in desperate need of repair.
  • He used the money to build great edifices on the bones of his workers.
  • The process will move forward, dragging them reluctantly, or enabling structural edifices that can operate wisely.
  • Chewing gum isn't allowed inside the country to keep it from defacing public benches, floors and edifices.
  • To the east stand those proud edifices, the iconography of the country's heritage and prominence.
  • In charge of the master plan in both cases, he is designing new edifices for each site.
  • It will provide us with physical data into our theories of reality, solidify the blueprints we've made into actual edifices.
  • Statues can last but a few thousands of years, edifices fewer, and colours still fewer than edifices.
British Dictionary definitions for edifices


a building, esp a large or imposing one
a complex or elaborate institution or organization
Derived Forms
edificial (ˌɛdɪˈfɪʃəl) adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for edifices



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
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