Architect definition


Here we have gathered together a list of the various definitions of an architect and architecture in general from a range of popular dictionaries and famous architects.

There are many different ways to define and use the term ‘architect’, some of which are used outside of the built environment to describe a person who designs and guides a plan or undertaking, and/or is responsible for its success for example.

However here we are just focusing on the architect as a professional, and who can be defined under the following definitions:

Architect definitions

The Merriam Webster dictionary:

  • A person who designs buildings and advises in their construction.

The Oxford dictionary:

  • A person who designs buildings and in many cases also supervises their construction.

The Cambridge dictionary:

  • A person whose job is to design new buildings and make certain that they are built correctly.

The Collins dictionary:

  • An architect is a person who designs buildings.

The Etymology dictionary:

  • A person skilled in the art of building, one who plans and designs buildings and supervises their construction.


  • An architect is a person who plans, designs, and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use

  • A person who engages in the profession of architecture.

Macmillan dictionary

  • Someone whose job is to design buildings.

  • Someone who creates plans to be used in making something (such as buildings.)

Your dictionary

  • The definition of an architect is a professional who creates designs for buildings, bridges and other structures.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) architect definition is:

  • "Licensed professionals trained in the art and science of the design and construction of buildings and structures that primarily provide shelter. An architect will create the overall aesthetic and look of buildings and structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance. Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the specific needs of the people who use them. Most importantly, they must be built with the public’s health, safety and welfare in mind."

Using ‘Architect’ in a sentence

‘Frank Lloyd Wright was the architect of Falling Water House.’

‘The great Norman architect of Durham Cathedral’

‘The same architect designed the superb aqueduct by which the city is supplied with water from Monte Francoa, some nine miles off.’

Architect pronunciation

Architect synonyms

  • Artist

  • Builder

  • Creator

  • Designer

  • Engineer

  • Originator

  • Inventor

  • Planner

  • Drafts person

  • Maker

  • Originator

  • Master builder

Architecture definitions

The Merriam Webster dictionary:

  • The art or practice of designing and building structures and especially habitable ones.

The Oxford dictionary:

  • The art or practice of designing and constructing buildings.

The Cambridge dictionary:

  • the art and practice of designing and making buildings

The Collins dictionary:

  • Architecture is the art of planning, designing, and constructing buildings.

The Etymology dictionary:

  • The art of building, tasteful application of scientific and traditional rules of good construction to the materials at hand


  • Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures

  • The profession of designing buildings, open areas, communities, and other artificial constructions and environments,usually with some regard to aesthetic effect. Architecture often includes design or selection of furnishings and decorations, supervision of construction work, and the examination, restoration, or remodeling of existing buildings.

Macmillan dictionary

  • the study or practice of designing buildings

  • The discipline dealing with the principles of design and construction and ornamentation of fine buildings

Your dictionary

  • Architecture is defined as the method of designing and building something into a usable, pleasing form.

Definition of architecture by famous architects

"Architecture is invention."- Oscar Niemeyer

"Architecture is the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings actually fit with the way we want to live our lives: the process of manifesting our society into our physical world. - Bjarke Ingels

"Architecture is too complex for just one person to do it, and I love collaboration." - Richard Rogers

"Architecture is the real battleground of the spirit." - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Architecture is always related to power and related to large interests, whether financial or political." - Bernard Tschumi

"Architecture is a very dangerous job. If a writer makes a bad book, eh, people don't read it. But if you make bad architecture, you impose ugliness on a place for a hundred years." - Renzo Piano

"Architecture is merciless: it is what it is, it works or doesn’t, and you can clearly see the difference." - Jacques Herzog 

"Architecture is an expression of values – the way we build is a reflection of the way we live." - Norman Foster

"Architecture is too important to be left to men alone." - Sarah Wigglesworth

"Architecture is unnecessarily difficult. It's very tough." - Zaha Hadid

"Architecture is perplexing in how inconsistent is its capacity to generate the happiness on which its claim to our attention is founded." - Alain de Botton

"Architecture is not a question of the purely theoretical if you're interested in building buildings. It's the art of what is possible." - Paul Rudolph

"Architecture is a language: new designs should abide by grammatical rules to avoid dissonance with existing structures." - Prince Charle

Architecture is a mystery that must be preserved." - Jean Nouvel

"Architecture is about the manipulation of light: both artificial light and day lighting."- Tom Kundig

"Architecture is quite a narrow, obsessive business." - Nicholas Grimshaw

"Architecture is a small piece of this human equation, but for those of us who practice it, we believe in its potential to make a difference, to enlighten and to enrich the human experience, to penetrate the barriers of misunderstanding and provide a beautiful context for life's drama." - Frank Gehry

"Architecture is a very complex effort everywhere. It’s very rare that all the forces that need to coincide to actually make a project proceed are happening at the same time." - Rem Koolhaas

"Architecture is geometry." - Álvaro Siza