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[plinth] /plɪnθ/
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 forms
plinthless, adjective
plinthlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for plinth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The walls are divided by many vertical lines of pilasters which rise from the plinth to the eaves-cornice.

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

    Xingu Edith Wharton
  • Moreover, the contrast between the plinth and the white wall above it must have had a certain decorative effect.

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

    Xingu Edith Wharton
  • The plinth supported a stone shaft fifteen feet in height, which touched the lower branches of the trees.

  • "I always deprecate anything like a scandal—" Mrs. plinth continued.

    Xingu Edith Wharton
  • The monument on the plinth under the next arch is also beyond identification.

  • Just then the mother of the Gracchi came to the edge of the plinth to open the meeting.

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
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
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
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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
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