pantheon

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

Definition of pantheon

1 : a temple dedicated to all the gods The emperor Marcus Agrippa had a pantheon built in Rome.
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Taking cues from the darkest corners of the Americana pantheon, Muddy Ruckus writes music with a sort of evil edge usually reserved for swampy deltas along various Mississippi River pit stops. Chip Mccabe, courant.com, "One can’t-miss band for every day at The Big E," 3 Sep. 2019 Like his good friend Andy Warhol, Halston turned his artistry into a brand that will live on in the pantheon of pop culture. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Motown remembered, Halston refashioned, a rising star fallen," 15 Aug. 2019 Yes, this is a key stop on any tour of America’s pantheon of BBQ joints. Larry Olmstead, USA TODAY, "Clyde Cooper's: Why this Raleigh restaurant belongs on your BBQ road trip list," 8 Aug. 2019 Li Na is a worthy member of that pantheon — a modest woman from Wuhan, China, whose impact in Asia surpasses them all. David Waldstein, New York Times, "For Li Na, Another First in Tennis," 19 July 2019 But the true depth and breadth of this pillar of the Chinese culinary pantheon is poorly understood in the West, and better revealed at Original Cuisine than anywhere else in the Valley. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Mesa," 15 July 2019 This extraordinary city served as Egypt’s capital during part of the Middle Kingdom and at the height of the New Kingdom, and was dedicated to the god Amun, one of the most revered deities of the Egyptian pantheon. National Geographic, "Egypt Private Expedition," 12 June 2019 The creators of these programs, all white men, formed a kind of princely pantheon of showrunners and were regularly grouped together by the press as mavericks and visionaries. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Outlaw World of Deadwood," 6 June 2019 Levy has moved into the pantheon of state Republicans relatively recently as the state finance chairman in 2014 and as a new member of the Republican National Committee in 2016. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "After escaping Castro’s Cuba as a child, Leora Levy has become the top Republican fundraiser in Connecticut," 16 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pantheon

Listen to Our Podcast about pantheon

Statistics for pantheon

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pantheon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pantheon

pantheon

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pantheon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pantheon

Spanish Central: Translation of pantheon

Nglish: Translation of pantheon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pantheon

Comments on pantheon

What made you want to look up pantheon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!