Word of the Day


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1. a large stone structure with a square base and walls with three sides that meet at a point on the top of the structure. The most famous ones, known as the Pyramids, were built in ancient Egypt for kings to be buried in.
2. an object with the shape of a pyramid
a. a pile of things arranged in the shape of a pyramid
3. an organization or system that has fewer people at each level as you get towards the top

Origin and usage

The word pyramid possibly comes from the Egyptian word ‘pimar’, or more likely from the Greek ‘pyramis’. Other forms of the word include the Latin ‘pyramis’ and Old French ‘piramide’. Pyramid was first used in English sometime in the 1550s in the geometrical sense.


Pyramid is a word that usually refers to a three-dimensional shape or structure that has a square base and four flat triangular sides that meet at a point. There are many different kinds of pyramids, but the most famous in the world are the ancient pyramids at Giza in Egypt.

There are three famous ones here known as the Great Pyramids of Giza: Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu. These massive stone structures were built to house the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, or kings. In ancient Egypt, people believed that natural death was just the beginning of a journey into the afterlife, so pyramids were used as burial crypts so that kings and other important figures could enter the afterlife with all of their wealth and possessions.

One of Giza’s great pyramids, Khufu, was built around 2600 BC and is the only one of the original Seven Wonders of the World that still stands today.

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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