1. A block or slab on which a pedestal, column, or statue is placed.
2. The base block at the intersection of the baseboard and the vertical trim around an opening.
3. A continuous course of stones supporting a wall. Also called plinth course.
4. A square base, as for a vase.
[French plinthe, from Latin plinthus, from Greek plinthos, tile, plinth.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.