Other forms: edifices

Edifice means a building, but it doesn't mean just any building. To merit being called an edifice, a building must be important. A small but elegant temple can be an edifice, and so can a towering sky scraper.

The meaning of edifice has expanded to include a system of ideas — when it is complicated enough to be considered to have walls and a roof, then it is an edifice. You could say that basic facts of addition and subtraction are the foundation on which the edifice of higher math rests.

Definitions of edifice
  1. noun
    a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place
    “it was an imposing edifice
    synonyms: building
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    Independence Hall
    the building in Philadelphia where the Declaration of Independence was signed
    Houses of Parliament
    the building in which the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet
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    abattoir, butchery, shambles, slaughterhouse
    a building where animals are butchered
    apartment building, apartment house
    a building that is divided into apartments
    an architectural product or work
    aviary, bird sanctuary, volary
    a building where birds are kept
    bathhouse, bathing machine
    a building containing dressing rooms for bathers
    bowling alley
    a building that contains several alleys for bowling
    center, centre
    a building dedicated to a particular activity
    a building attached to a monastery or cathedral; used as a meeting place for the chapter
    club, clubhouse
    a building that is occupied by a social club
    dorm, dormitory, hall, residence hall, student residence
    a college or university building containing living quarters for students
    farm building
    a building on a farm
    a building where livestock are fattened for market
    a building that would be hard to escape from if it were to catch fire
    gambling den, gambling hell, gambling house, gaming house
    a public building in which a variety of games of chance can be played (operated as a business)
    gazebo, summerhouse
    a small roofed building affording shade and rest
    government building
    a building that houses a branch of government
    glasshouse, greenhouse, nursery
    a building with glass walls and roof; for the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions
    a large building for meetings or entertainment
    a large building used by a college or university for teaching or research
    Hall of Fame
    a building containing trophies honoring famous people
    a building where travelers can pay for lodging and meals and other services
    casino-hotel, hotel-casino
    a building that houses both a hotel and a casino
    a dwelling that serves as living quarters for one or more families
    a building in which something is sheltered or located
    a building that houses a collection of books and other materials
    health facility, healthcare facility, medical building
    building where medicine is practiced
    building where the business of a government department is transacted
    dead room, morgue, mortuary
    a building (or room) where dead bodies are kept before burial or cremation
    a building designed and equipped to observe astronomical phenomena
    office block, office building
    a building containing offices where work is done
    opium den
    a building where opium is sold and used
    a building that is subordinate to and separate from a main building
    a building where foodstuffs are processed and packed
    house of God, house of prayer, house of worship, place of worship
    any building where congregations gather for prayer
    a building housing an instrument for projecting the positions of the planets onto a domed ceiling
    building reserved for the officiating clergy
    eatery, eating house, eating place, restaurant
    a building where people go to eat
    rest house
    a building used for shelter by travelers (especially in areas where there are no hotels)
    rink, skating rink
    building that contains a surface for ice skating or roller skating
    Roman building
    a building constructed by the ancient Romans
    a building having a circular plan and a dome
    a ruined building
    school, schoolhouse
    a building where young people receive education
    shooting gallery
    a building (usually abandoned) where drug addicts buy and use heroin
    signal box, signal tower
    a building from which signals are sent to control the movements of railway trains
    a very tall building with many stories
    student union
    a building on a college campus dedicated to social and organizational activities of the student body
    tap house, tavern
    a building with a bar that is licensed to sell alcoholic drinks
    telco building, telecom hotel
    a building that houses telecommunications equipment
    an edifice devoted to special or exalted purposes
    house, theater, theatre
    a building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented
    bagnio, bawdyhouse, bordello, brothel, cathouse, house of ill repute, house of prostitution, sporting house
    a building where prostitutes are available
    a building or compound used by a group carrying out religious and humanitarian work
    arena theater, theater in the round
    a theater arranged with seats around at least three sides of the stage
    an outlying farm building for storing grain or animal feed and housing farm animals
    Roman basilica, basilica
    a Roman building used for public administration
    bagnio, bathhouse
    a building containing public baths
    beach house
    a house built on or near a beach
    beer garden
    tavern with an outdoor area (usually resembling a garden) where beer and other alcoholic drinks are served
    a gazebo sited to command a fine view
    a house of worship (especially one for sailors)
    a small informal restaurant; serves wine
    boarding house, boardinghouse
    a private house that provides accommodations and meals for paying guests
    a small restaurant serving beer and wine as well as food; usually cheap
    a combination brewery and restaurant; beer is brewed for consumption on the premises and served along with food
    bucket shop
    (formerly) a cheap saloon selling liquor by the bucket
    bungalow, cottage
    a small house with a single story
    burn center
    a center where patients with severe burns can be treated
    a small house built of wood; usually in a wooded area
    cafe, coffee bar, coffee shop, coffeehouse
    a small restaurant where drinks and snacks are sold
    a restaurant where you serve yourself and pay a cashier
    call center, call centre
    a center equipped to handle a large volume of telephone calls (especially for taking orders or serving customers)
    restaurant in a factory; where workers can eat
    canteen, mobile canteen
    a restaurant outside; often for soldiers or policemen
    a building occupied by a state legislature
    casino, gambling casino
    a public building for gambling and entertainment
    a Swiss house with a sloping roof and wide eaves or a house built in this style
    a government building housing the office of a chancellor
    a place of worship that has its own altar
    chapterhouse, frat house, fraternity house
    a house used as a residence by a chapter of a fraternity
    chicken coop, coop, hencoop, henhouse
    a farm building for housing poultry
    church, church building
    a place for public (especially Christian) worship
    cinema, movie house, movie theater, movie theatre, picture palace
    a theater where films are shown
    city hall
    a building that houses administrative offices of a municipal government
    a healthcare facility for outpatient care
    carriage house, coach house, remise
    a small building for housing coaches and carriages and other vehicles
    civic center, community center
    a center where the members of a community can gather for social or cultural activities
    conference center, conference house
    a center where conferences can be conducted
    conservatory, hothouse, indoor garden
    a greenhouse in which plants are arranged in a pleasing manner
    conservatoire, conservatory
    a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts
    control center
    the operational center for a group of related activities
    conventicle, meetinghouse
    a building for religious assembly (especially Nonconformists, e.g., Quakers)
    country house
    a house (usually large and impressive) on an estate in the country
    a building that houses judicial courts
    a government building that houses the offices of a county government
    crematorium, crematory
    a mortuary where corpses are cremated
    customhouse, customshouse
    a government building where customs are collected and where ships are cleared to enter or leave the country
    day school
    a school building without boarding facilities
    detached house, single dwelling
    a house that stands alone
    a restaurant that resembles a dining car
    dinner theater, dinner theatre
    a theater at which dinner is included in the price of admission
    diplomatic building
    government building in which diplomats live or work
    doll's house, dollhouse
    a house so small that it is likened to a child's plaything
    duplex, duplex house, semidetached house
    a house with two units sharing a common wall
    house for a farmer and family
    field house, sports arena
    a building for indoor sports
    a run-down hotel
    funeral chapel, funeral church, funeral home, funeral parlor, funeral parlour, funeral-residence
    a mortuary where those who knew the deceased can come to pay their last respects
    an outbuilding (or part of a building) for housing automobiles
    a house built at a gateway; usually the gatekeeper's residence
    greasy spoon
    a small restaurant specializing in short-order fried foods
    grill, grillroom
    a restaurant where food is cooked on a grill
    a house separate from the main house; for housing guests
    the hall of a guild or corporation
    the main house on a ranch or large estate
    hall of residence
    a university dormitory
    hash house
    an inexpensive restaurant
    home theater, home theatre
    television and video equipment designed to reproduce in the home the experience of being in a movie theater
    hospital, infirmary
    a health facility where patients receive treatment
    auberge, hostel, hostelry, inn, lodge
    a hotel providing overnight lodging for travelers
    a house for storing ice
    ice, ice rink, ice-skating rink
    a rink with a floor of ice for ice hockey or ice skating
    dog house, doghouse, kennel
    outbuilding that serves as a shelter for a dog
    little theater, little theatre
    a small theater for experimental drama or collegiate or community groups
    hunting lodge, lodge
    a small (rustic) house used as a temporary shelter
    lodging house, rooming house
    a house where rooms are rented
    a restaurant (in a facility) where lunch can be purchased
    a public hall for lectures and concerts
    maisonette, maisonnette
    a small house
    hall, manse, mansion, mansion house, residence
    a large and imposing house
    masjid, musjid
    (Islam) a Muslim place of worship
    massage parlor
    a place where illicit sex is available under the guise of therapeutic massage
    meat house
    a small house (on a farm) where meat is stored
    (Islam) a Muslim place of worship that usually has a minaret
    court, motor hotel, motor inn, motor lodge, tourist court
    a hotel for motorists; provides direct access from rooms to parking area
    music hall, vaudeville theater, vaudeville theatre
    a theater in which vaudeville is staged
    oast house
    a building containing an oast (a kiln for drying hops); usually has a conical or pyramidal roof
    opera, opera house
    a building where musical dramas are performed
    earth-closet, jakes, outhouse, privy
    a small outbuilding with a bench having holes through which a user can defecate
    gin mill, pothouse, pub, public house, saloon, taphouse
    tavern consisting of a building with a bar and public rooms; often provides light meals
    pump house, pumping station
    a house where pumps (e.g. to irrigate) are installed and operated
    ranch house
    a one story house with a low pitched roof
    a tavern below street level featuring beer; originally a German restaurant in the basement of city hall
    research center, research facility
    a center where research is done
    the official house or establishment of an important person (as a sovereign or president)
    resort hotel, spa
    a fashionable hotel usually in a resort area
    an ostentatiously elegant hotel
    a restaurant that specializes in roasted and barbecued meats
    row house, town house
    a house that is one of a row of identical houses situated side by side and sharing common walls
    safe house
    a house used as a hiding place or refuge by members of certain organizations
    a type of house built in New England; has two stories in front and one behind
    service club
    a recreational center for servicemen
    settlement house
    a center in an underprivileged area that provides community services
    an outbuilding with a single story; used for shelter or storage
    a place of worship hallowed by association with some sacred thing or person
    ski lodge
    a hotel at a ski resort
    meat house, smokehouse
    a small house where smoke is used to cure meat or fish
    adobe house, sod house, soddy
    a house built of sod or adobe laid in horizontal courses
    solar house
    a house designed to use solar radiation for heating; usually has large areas of glass in front of heat-absorbing materials
    horse barn, stable, stalls
    a farm building for housing horses or other livestock
    stash house
    a house where weapons and supplies are hidden
    a government building in which a state legislature meets
    chophouse, steakhouse
    a restaurant that specializes in steaks
    student center
    a center for student activities at a college or university
    synagogue, tabernacle, temple
    (Judaism) the place of worship for a Jewish congregation
    tea parlor, tea parlour, teahouse, tearoom, teashop
    a restaurant where tea and light meals are available
    place of worship consisting of an edifice for the worship of a deity
    tenement, tenement house
    a run-down apartment house barely meeting minimal standards
    town hall
    a government building that houses administrative offices of a town government
    tract house
    one of many houses of similar design constructed together on a tract of land
    detached or semidetached suburban house
    an apartment building without an elevator
    ziggurat, zikkurat, zikurat
    a rectangular tiered temple or terraced mound erected by the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians
    unlicensed drinking establishment
    holiday resort, resort, resort hotel
    a hotel located in a resort area
    a place where oranges are grown; a plantation of orange trees in warm climes or a greenhouse in cooler areas
    type of:
    construction, structure
    a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts
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