an obelisk, column, large statue, etc., formed of a single block of stone.
a single block or piece of stone of considerable size, especially when used in architecture or sculpture.
something having a uniform, massive, redoubtable, or inflexible quality or character.

1820–30; < Latin monolithus < Greek monólithos made of one stone. See mono-, -lith

monolithism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
monolith (ˈmɒnəlɪθ)
1.  a large block of stone or anything that resembles one in appearance, intractability, etc
2.  a statue, obelisk, column, etc, cut from one block of stone
3.  a large hollow foundation piece sunk as a caisson and having a number of compartments that are filled with concrete when it has reached its correct position
[C19: via French from Greek monolithos made from a single stone]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1848, "column consisting of a single large block of stone," from Fr. monolithe, from L. monolithus (adj.) "consisting of a single stone," from Gk. monotlithos, from monos "single, alone" + lithos "stone." Transferred and figurative use is from 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Beginning as a thin veneer for older software code, it has become an obese monolith built on an ancient frame.
It is probably the result of a collision that shattered a pre-existing monolith.
However, the state is far from being a predictable monolith.
The walls, caves, and alcoves of this sandstone monolith are adorned with their elaborate pictographs.
Image for monolith
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