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Stonehenge

[stohn-henj] /ˈstoʊn hɛndʒ/
noun
1.
a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, consisting of a large circle of megaliths surrounding a smaller circle and four massive trilithons; dating to late Neolithic and early Bronze Age times (c1700–1200 b.c.) and believed to have been connected with a sun cult or used for astronomical observations.
Origin
cf. henge
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for stone-henge

Stonehenge

/ˌstəʊnˈhɛndʒ/
noun
1.
a prehistoric ruin in S England, in Wiltshire on Salisbury Plain: constructed over the period of roughly 3000–1600 bc; one of the most important megalithic monuments in Europe; believed to have had religious and astronomical purposes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for stone-henge

Stonehenge

n.

early 12c., Stanenges, literally "stone gallows," perhaps so called from fancied resemblance to old-style gallows with two posts, with the second element related to the verb hang. Some antiquarians suggest the notion may be of "supported in the air, that which hangs in the air" (cf. henge-clif for Latin præruptum), in reference to the lintel stones, but the order of the elements and the inflexion is against this. An ancient name for it was the Giant's Dance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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stone-henge in Culture

Stonehenge definition


Ancient circles of large, upright stones that stand alone on a plain in England. There is some controversy about who shaped, carried, and set up these huge stones, which perhaps had religious and astronomical uses. Scholars theorize that Stonehenge was built in three phases beginning in about 2800 b.c. The huge stones are believed to date from 1800 to 1500 b.c.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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