pan·​the·​on | \ ˈpan(t)-thē-ˌän How to pronounce pantheon (audio) , -ən \

Definition of pantheon

1 : a temple dedicated to all the gods
2 : a building serving as the burial place of or containing memorials to the famous dead of a nation Many eminent French citizens have been interred in a pantheon in Paris.
3 : the gods of a people especially : the officially recognized gods
4 : a group of illustrious or notable persons or things He occupies a place in the pantheon of great American writers.

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Did You Know?

Some of the earliest uses of this word in the English language refer to that most famous Pantheon, the circular domed temple built in Rome more than 19 centuries ago (and still standing). We can easily identify the origins of the temple's name, which the Romans borrowed from the Greek word for a temple honoring all their gods. That Greek word, pantheion, combines pan- ("all") and theos ("god"). Later on, in English, "all the gods" was used to mean just that—a pantheon could be a collective of gods (as "the Egyptian pantheon"). We stop short of worshiping outstanding men and women as actual gods, of course, but nevertheless, in the 19th century we also began using pantheon as a word for any eminent company of the highly venerated.

Examples of pantheon in a Sentence

the Greek and Roman pantheons
Recent Examples on the Web Jordan dribbled into a double-team, stepped through, jumped in the air and tossed a pass to Kerr for an open jumper near the foul line that sent Kerr into the pantheon of legendary Finals shot-makers. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "LeBron James deserves praise, not criticism for pass at end of Lakers' NBA Finals Game 5 loss: Chris Fedor," 11 Oct. 2020 Welcome to Buteaupia offers another amazing suit to the pantheon of great comedy special ensembles (eat your heart out, Delirious). Ariana Romero,, "You Have 9 New Netflix Treats To Binge This Weekend — Here’s What’s Worth Watching," 2 Oct. 2020 Treves cautions, however, against overstating Artemisia’s place in the Baroque pantheon. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Fuller Picture of Artemisia Gentileschi," 28 Sep. 2020 With that choice, Blank stakes her claim and places herself within that pantheon. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Semiautobiographical ‘Forty-Year-Old Version’ is rarest of films: funny, wry, incisive, sexy and sincere (review)," 1 Oct. 2020 But his name was most often associated with a pantheon of Texas Monthly bylines whose alumni included Reid’s close friend and role model, the late Gary Cartwright. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Jan Reid, who survived a near-fatal shooting to become one of Texas’ signature writers, dies at 75," 20 Sep. 2020 Working out where Dod fits in the pantheon of sporting, and female, greatness is its own sort of feat. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "In Search of the First Female Sports Superstar," 13 Sep. 2020 The faster and prettier versions of the Ferrari 250 sit right at the top of the automotive pantheon. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "A Legend Revived: GTO Engineering's Ferrari 250 GT SWB Competizione Replica," 8 Sep. 2020 This is right up in the pantheon of ridiculous remarks. Ann Killion,, "Goodell’s message to 49ers fans, NFL spectators: You don’t matter, apparently," 5 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pantheon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pantheon

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pantheon

Middle English Panteon, a temple at Rome, from Latin Pantheon, from Greek pantheion temple of all the gods, from neuter of pantheios of all gods, from pan- + theos god

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Time Traveler for pantheon

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The first known use of pantheon was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pantheon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for pantheon


How to pronounce pantheon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pantheon

: the gods of a particular country or group of people
somewhat formal : a group of people who are famous or important
: a temple that is built to honor all the gods of a particular country or group of people

More from Merriam-Webster on pantheon

Nglish: Translation of pantheon for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pantheon

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