Basilica definition

bə-sĭlĭ-kə
Frequency:
(obs.) A royal palace.
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In ancient Rome, a rectangular building with a broad nave ending in an apse, and flanked by colonnaded aisles, used as a courtroom, public hall, etc.
noun
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(r.c.ch.) A church granted certain ceremonial rights.
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(roman catholic church) A church that has been accorded certain privileges by the pope.
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A public building of ancient Rome having a central nave with an apse at one or both ends and two side aisles formed by rows of columns, which was used as a courtroom or assembly hall.
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A Christian church building of a similar design, having a nave with a semicircular apse, two or four side aisles, a narthex, and a clerestory.
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A Christian church built in this style.
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(architecture) A Christian church building having a nave with a semicircular apse, side aisles, a narthex and a clerestory.
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A Roman Catholic church or cathedral with basilican status.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
basilica
Plural:
basilicas

Origin of basilica

  • Latin from Greek basilikē from feminine of basilikos royal from basileus king

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin basilica, from Ancient Greek basilike, from basilike stoa, "royal hall", ultimately from Ancient Greek βασιλικός (basilikos, “royal”), from βασιλεύς (basileus, “king, chief”).

    From Wiktionary