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cornerstone

cor·ner·stone

cornerstone

pronunciation:
kor nr ston
part of speech: noun
definition 1: a stone placed at the corner joining two masonry walls.
definition 2: a foundation stone laid at the onset of construction, sometimes carved with the date or hollowed to contain items of historical interest.
definition 3: something basic and indispensable; foundation.
The humanities are the cornerstone of a broad education.
similar words:
essential, fundamental