Originally, the place of a king; but afterward, an apartment provided in the houses of persons of importance, where assemblies were held for dispensing justice; and hence, any large hall used for this purpose.
2. A building used by the romans as a place of public meeting, with court rooms, etc, attached. A church building of the earlier centuries of christianity, the plan of which was taken from the basilica of the romans. The name is still applied to some churches by way of honorary distinction.