bel·​ve·​dere ˈbel-və-ˌdir How to pronounce belvedere (audio)
: a structure (such as a cupola or a summerhouse) designed to command a view

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The Beautiful Origin of Belvedere

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and someone with a belvedere will likely have a great deal of beauty to behold. Given the origins of the word, belvedere is the ideal term for a building (or part of a building) with a view; it derives from two Italian words, bel, which means "beautiful," and vedere, which means "view." The term has been used in English since the 1570s.

Examples of belvedere in a Sentence

a Greek revival belvedere stands majestically on a grassy knoll overlooking the river
Recent Examples on the Web But the museum’s greatest contemporary draw is architectural: its Glass Pavilion, a low-slung belvedere designed by the Japanese architects Sanaa, which since 2006 has housed one of the world’s largest collections of glass (as well as a glassmaking facility). New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 The platform at the top of the tower, below the red mosaic ceiling held up by a concrete belvedere, offers a view of the rooftops of the area’s aristocratic 18th- and 19th-century homes; the Martels once held cocktail parties on the roof terrace, attended by many of their fellow artists. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 Louboutin added an additional floor and a rooftop belvedere with views of the surrounding desert. ELLE Decor, 6 Jan. 2023 Despite its sprawling size and hefty mass, the library and events center features a vaulted framework that elegantly inserts itself into its location, on a belvedere overlooking a lake. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, 21 Jan. 2022 The Belvedere in Vienna, which is a giant palace, is considered a belvedere (hence its name). Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, 19 Nov. 2018 Pavilions—also known as summerhouses, gazebos or belvederes—are architects’ more free-spirited counterpoints to a house. Karen Bruno, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2018 The famed Terrace of Infinity belvedere is set, like an infinity pool, above a magnificent vista of hills and bays vanishing into the mist in the distance, and the sky melts into the low horizon line and the equally blue seas. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2018 See More

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

Word History


Italian, literally, beautiful view

First Known Use

1549, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of belvedere was in 1549


Dictionary Entries Near belvedere

Cite this Entry

“Belvedere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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