- Date: 13th century
- 1 obsolete : a burial vault : sepulchre
- 2 : a written legal document or record : treatise
- 3 a (1) : a lasting evidence, reminder, or example of someone or something notable or great (2) : a distinguished person
A monument is a type of structure either explicitly created to commemorate a person or important event or which has become important to a social group as a part of their remembrance of past events. They are frequently used to improve the appearance of a city or location. Cities that are planned such as Washington D.C., New Delhi and Brasília are often built around monuments. The Washington Monument's location (and vertical geometry, though not physical detail) was conceived to help organize public space in the city before it was ever connected with George Washington. Older cities have monuments placed at locations that are already important or are sometimes redesigned to focus on one. As Shelley suggested in his famous poem "Ozymandias" ("Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"), the purpose of monuments is very often to impress or awe. In English the word "monumental" is often used in reference to something of extraordinary size and power. The word comes from the Latin "monere," which means 'to remind' or 'to warn.'