balcony

noun

bal·​co·​ny ˈbal-kə-nē How to pronounce balcony (audio)
plural balconies
1
: a platform that projects from the wall of a building and is enclosed by a parapet or railing
2
: an interior projecting gallery in a public building (such as a theater)
balconied adjective

Illustration of balcony

Illustration of balcony
  • balcony 1

Examples of balcony in a Sentence

We asked for a hotel room with a balcony. on summer mornings I often have breakfast out on the balcony
Recent Examples on the Web There’s another bedroom and bathroom on the top floor, as well as a balcony. Lauren Beale, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Passengers can choose from a handful of elegant rooms and suites; however, those who want their own balcony will need to spring on the latter. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 15 Feb. 2024 The high ceilings leave space for a balcony looking out on the bathroom. Eleanor Nash, Kansas City Star, 10 Feb. 2024 The lack of a majority did not stop Sharif's relatives and loyalists from appearing on a balcony at his party headquarters, waving to the crowds below. Riazat Butt and Munir Ahmed The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 10 Feb. 2024 Evidence marker 18: A syringe found on Amie Harwick's third-floor balcony. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, 10 Feb. 2024 The video ends with a jazz band marching down the streets as the couple watches from a balcony. Natalia Senanayake, Peoplemag, 8 Feb. 2024 Two kids were throwing food over the balcony above the restaurant onto people walking by and crossing the street. Isha Trivedi, The Mercury News, 6 Feb. 2024 Advertisement By the fourth interruption, Harris merely paused and waited as a demonstrator in the balcony was led away. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 4 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'balcony.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Italian balcone, earlier also "window (opening), bay window," probably, via the sense "board closing a window, shutter" (as in Upper Italian —15th-century Venetian— balchon "window shutter"), from balc- (borrowed from Langobardic *balkōn "beam," going back to Germanic) + -one, noun suffix, going back to Latin -ō, -ōn-, suffix of nouns denoting persons with a prominent feature — more at balk entry 2

Note: The Germanic n-stem *balkōn has been adapted to Italo-Romance by means of the suffix -one; parallel adaptations are Italian gherone "gusset, gore," going back, via Langobardic, to Germanic *gaizōn "wedge, flap of a garment" (see gore entry 1); magone (early and regional) "stomach, gizzard," going back to Germanic *magōn "stomach." Balcone in the sense "window" is attested in literary Tuscan since Boccaccio (1341) and persists into the twentieth century most strongly in dialects of the northeast (Veneto, Trentino, Friuli—see Lessico etimologico italiano, Germanismi, vol. 1); attestations in Medieval Latin go back to the twelfth century or earlier. Presumably this meaning is an extension from earlier "shutter," attested in a narrower range of Upper Italian dialects and going back to the fifteenth century in a Venetian text. H. and R. Kahane ("Balcone, the Window," Romance Philology, vol. 30, no. 4 [May, 1977], pp. 565-73) take "board closing a glassless window opening" as the original Langobardic meaning. Note in this regard balcón "trapdoor in the floor of a hayloft" in a dialect of Ticino, with comparable forms and senses in Ladin. A different angle appears to be followed by the Lessico, which points to the meaning "plank floor" (ballatoio), attested as Upper Italian balcon (thirteenth century), Genoese barcon (before 1311), and Piedmontese balcon (thirteenth century). The sense "plank floor" would then have hypothetically been extended to "window sill" (which would have been at or slightly above the level of the floor), and then "window opening." The Lessico records the sense "balcony" in the vernacular in 1312, though Latin forms of the word—in either the sense "balcony" or "opening for a window, bay"— are significantly earlier; according to the Kahanes, who believed balcones was broadcast through western Europe by the Cluniac reforms, they can be dated to the tenth century in England, though this would be earlier than Italian records. The later promulgation of the Italian word to European languages in the quite specific sense "balcony" was a product of the Renaissance and the influence of Italian architecture.

First Known Use

1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of balcony was in 1618

Dictionary Entries Near balcony

Cite this Entry

“Balcony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/balcony. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

balcony

noun
bal·​co·​ny ˈbal-kə-nē How to pronounce balcony (audio)
plural balconies
1
: a platform enclosed by a low wall or railing and built out from the side of a building
2
: a platform inside a building extending out over part of the main floor (as of a theater)

More from Merriam-Webster on balcony

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