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How to pronounce obelisk (audio)
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook

Dictionary definition of obelisk

A tall, upright, four-sided monument or pillar with a pointed or pyramidal top.
"The Washington Monument is an iconic obelisk that honors the first President of the United States, George Washington."

Detailed meaning of obelisk

It typically consists of a single stone or material, often granite, and is characterized by its slender and tapering shape. Obelisks have a long history and are associated with ancient civilizations, particularly those of Egypt. They were commonly erected as monumental structures to honor deities, commemorate significant events, or mark important locations. Obelisks often bear inscriptions or hieroglyphics that provide historical or religious information. With their impressive height and distinctive form, obelisks serve as symbols of power, prestige, and cultural heritage. Today, obelisks can be found in various parts of the world, both as historical artifacts in museums and as decorative elements in public spaces.

Example sentences containing obelisk

1. The ancient obelisk towered above the landscape, pointing towards the heavens.
2. Tourists gathered around the obelisk, snapping pictures of the engravings on its surface.
3. The city erected a modern obelisk in the park to commemorate its founding.
4. They moved the obelisk to the museum for preservation and further study.
5. The Luxor Obelisk in Paris originally stood in front of the Luxor Temple in Egypt.
6. Each side of the obelisk had inscriptions that told a different story.

History and etymology of obelisk

The term 'obelisk' has its origins in ancient Egypt, where these impressive monuments were first created. The word 'obelisk' can be traced back to the Greek word 'obeliskos,' which in turn is derived from the Ancient Egyptian word 'tekhenu,' meaning 'four-sided pillar.' The Greeks added the diminutive suffix '-iskos' to 'obelos,' signifying a small spit or pointed pillar. This etymology reflects the characteristic shape of an obelisk – a tall, upright, four-sided monument or pillar with a pointed or pyramidal top. Over time, obelisks became prominent architectural and commemorative structures, often associated with ancient Egyptian culture and later adopted in various parts of the world for their symbolic and aesthetic significance.

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Further usage examples of obelisk

1. The architect designed the building to resemble an obelisk, symbolizing strength and stability.
2. The Cleopatra's Needle obelisk in New York City is actually one of three similar obelisks.
3. The obelisk’s shadow moved slowly, acting like a sundial to indicate time.
4. Some conspiracy theorists believe that obelisks have mysterious powers and are connected to ancient secrets.
5. The obelisk was made from a single piece of stone, which made it particularly impressive.
6. In the heart of the cemetery, an obelisk marked the graves of soldiers who fought in the war.
7. People left flowers and notes at the base of the obelisk in memory of the departed.
8. The monument, shaped like an obelisk, is a tribute to the town’s rich history and heritage.
9. The ancient obelisk loomed majestically in the city square.
10. Tourists gathered around the obelisk to take photos.
11. An ornate obelisk marked the entrance to the grand palace.
12. The obelisk's shadow stretched across the desert sands.
13. Scholars studied the hieroglyphics on the ancient obelisk.
14. A marble obelisk stood as a tribute to fallen heroes.
15. The obelisk's intricate carvings told a fascinating story.
16. An obelisk stood tall amidst the lush garden.
17. Visitors marveled at the towering obelisk's design.
18. The obelisk was a symbol of cultural heritage.
19. The setting sun cast a warm glow on the obelisk.
20. They held a ceremony at the obelisk to honor their ancestors.
21. The obelisk's symmetry was a marvel of engineering.
22. A modern obelisk graced the city's skyline.
23. The obelisk's base was adorned with intricate mosaics.
24. People gathered at the obelisk to celebrate victory.
25. The obelisk's pinnacle reached for the heavens.
26. The obelisk served as a navigational landmark.
27. An obelisk stood sentinel in the historic cemetery.
28. The obelisk's inscription told of ancient kings.

monument, flatland, plain, valley

High School 19, SAT 7 (Scholastic Assessment Test), Architectural Features and Spaces




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