1. A structure, such as a building or sculpture, erected as a memorial.
2. An inscribed marker placed at a grave; a tombstone.
3. Something venerated for its enduring historic significance or association with a notable past person or thing: the architectural monuments of ancient Rome; traditions that are monuments to an earlier era.
a. An outstanding enduring achievement: a translation that is a monument of scholarship.
b. An exceptional example: "Thousands of them wrote texts, some of them monuments of dullness" (Robert L. Heilbroner).
5. An object, such as a post or stone, fixed in the ground so as to mark a boundary or position.
[Middle English, from Latin monumentum, memorial, from monēre, to remind; see men-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.