basilica(redirected from Basilica (architecture))
Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
plan of the 4th-century ad
St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
a. 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.
b. 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.
2. Roman Catholic Church A church that has been accorded certain privileges by the pope.
[Latin, from Greek basilikē, from feminine of basilikos, royal, from basileus, king.]
ba·sil′i·can (-kən) adj.
1. (Architecture) a Roman building, used for public administration, having a large rectangular central nave with an aisle on each side and an apse at the end
2. (Architecture) a rectangular early Christian or medieval church, usually having a nave with clerestories, two or four aisles, one or more vaulted apses, and a timber roof
3. (Architecture) a Roman Catholic church having special ceremonial rights
[C16: from Latin, from Greek basilikē hall, from basilikē oikia the king's house, from basileus king; see basil]
baˈsilican, baˈsilic adj
ba•sil•i•ca(bəˈsɪl ɪ kə, -ˈzɪl-)
n., pl. -cas.
1. an early Christian or medieval church characterized by an oblong plan including a nave with a clerestory, two or four side aisles, one or more vaulted semicircular apses, and often a narthex and atrium.
2. one of the seven main churches of Rome or another Roman Catholic church accorded the same religious privileges.
3. (in ancient Rome) an oblong building with a double colonnade used as a court of law and public meeting place.
[1535–45; < Latin < Greek basilikḗ (oikía) literally, royal (house). See basil]
In classical architecture, a large rectangular Roman hall with colonnades and a semi-circular apse, used primarily as a court of law. By the fourth century, it was adapted as one of the basic plans for Christian churches in western architecture, as opposed to the cruciform plan adopted in Constantinople for the east.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||basilica - an early Christian church designed like a Roman basilica; or a Roman Catholic church or cathedral accorded certain privileges; "the church was raised to the rank of basilica"|
narthex - portico at the west end of an early Christian basilica or church
|2.||basilica - a Roman building used for public administration|
Roman building - a building constructed by the ancient Romans