cornerstone

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cor·ner·stone

also corner stone  (kôr′nər-stōn′)
n.
1.
a. A stone at the corner of a building uniting two intersecting walls; a quoin.
b. Such a stone when inscribed with the date of the start of the construction of the building.
2. An indispensable and fundamental basis: the cornerstone of an argument.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cornerstone

(ˈkɔːnəˌstəʊn)
n
1. (Building) a stone at the corner of a wall, uniting two intersecting walls; quoin
2. (Building) a stone placed at the corner of a building during a ceremony to mark the start of construction
3. a person or thing of prime importance; basis: the cornerstone of the whole argument.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

cor•ner•stone

(ˈkɔr nərˌstoʊn)

n.
1. a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.
2. a stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usu. carved with the date.
3. something that is essential or basic.
4. the foundation on which something is constructed or developed.
[1250–1300]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cornerstone - the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; "the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture"
explanation - thought that makes something comprehensible
meat and potatoes - the fundamental part; "successful negotiation is the meat and potatoes of arbitration"
supposal, supposition, assumption - a hypothesis that is taken for granted; "any society is built upon certain assumptions"
2.cornerstone - a stone in the exterior of a large and important building; usually carved with a date and laid with appropriate ceremonies
building, edifice - a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place; "there was a three-story building on the corner"; "it was an imposing edifice"
stone - building material consisting of a piece of rock hewn in a definite shape for a special purpose; "he wanted a special stone to mark the site"
3.cornerstone - a stone at the outer corner of two intersecting masonry walls
building, edifice - a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place; "there was a three-story building on the corner"; "it was an imposing edifice"
stone - building material consisting of a piece of rock hewn in a definite shape for a special purpose; "he wanted a special stone to mark the site"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

cornerstone

noun basis, key, premise, starting point, bedrock Effective opposition is a cornerstone of any democracy.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

cornerstone

noun
A fundamental principle or underlying concept:
base, basis, foundation, fundament, fundamental, root, rudiment (often used in plural).
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations

cornerstone

[ˈkɔːnəstəʊn] N (lit, fig) → piedra f angular
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005

cornerstone

[ˈkɔːrrstəʊn] n
(= foundation, basic part) → pierre f angulaire
(ARCHITECTURE)pierre f angulairecorner store n (US)magasin m du coin
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

cornerstone

[ˈkɔːnəˌstəʊn] n (also) (fig) → pietra angolare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
After a few weeks of hard work the foundations were ready, and a day was appointed for the laying of the corner-stone.
When it is considered that the laying of this corner-stone took place in the heart of the South, in the "Black Belt," in the centre of that part of our country that was most devoted to slavery; that at that time slavery had been abolished only about sixteen years; that only sixteen years before no Negro could be taught from books without the teacher receiving the condemnation of the law or of public sentiment--when all this is considered, the scene that was witnessed on that spring day at Tuskegee was a remarkable one.
An attention to these dangerous practices has produced a very natural alarm in the votaries of free government, of which frequency of elections is the corner-stone; and has led them to seek for some security to liberty, against the danger to which it is exposed.
Aramis, animated, active and young as at twenty, sprang towards the triple mass, and with his hands, delicate as those of a woman, raised by a miracle of strength the corner-stone of this great granite grave.
So deep did they go; and so ancient, and corroded, and weedy the aspect of the lowermost puncheons, that you almost looked next for some mouldy corner-stone cask containing coins of Captain Noah, with copies of the posted placards, vainly warning the infatuated old world from the flood.
This may truly be denominated the corner-stone of republican government; for so long as they are excluded, there can never be serious danger that the government will be any other than that of the people.
An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the mediaeval commune; here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany), there taxable "third estate" of the monarchy (as in France), afterwards, in the period of manufacture proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, corner-stone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world-market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway.
"Would you account the fall of a corner-stone, from the foundations of the edifice of learning, a matter of indifference to contemporaries or to posterity?" interrupted Obed.