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Definition of "basilica" []

  • 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. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • Roman Catholic Church A church that has been accorded certain privileges by the pope. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "basilica" in a sentence
  • "I take _basilica_ to mean the saunterers in a basilica, as we might say "the park" for the company in it, "the exchange" for the brokers in it."
  • "Although the basilica is a popular tourist attraction on weekends, on the weekday afternoon in late spring when I arrived, mine was the only car on the road."
  • "The basilica is set in a grassy area where the apostle Paul is said to have been buried — a favorite picnic ground for Roman families."