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.

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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

Maybe none of the prosecutors involved in this matter belong in the pantheon, but Mr. Acosta convicted Mr. Epstein and ended his depredations. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Trump and the Sex Offender," 9 July 2019 Think about where Jimmy Connors would be in the pantheon if Bjorn Borg (nearly four years younger), John McEnroe (more than six years younger) and Ivan Lendl (more than seven years younger) had never picked up a racquet. oregonlive.com, "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal still dominate, evidence this isn’t tennis’ greatest era: 2019 Wimbledon," 8 July 2019 In the pantheon of race, class, and gender villains, many historians might rank Stanford as a Serra coequal who justified his civilizing mission in terms of breaking eggs to make an omelet. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 The move illustrates Barr’s swift rise in the pantheon of President Trump’s most prominent and loyal allies — and in the eyes of Trump himself. Katie Benner, BostonGlobe.com, "People are trying to figure out William Barr. He’s busy wielding power," 9 June 2019 Lee was best known for co-creating much of Marvel’s pantheon of beloved superheroes: Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, Black Panther and Doctor Strange, among others. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Stan Lee dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 Some of the book’s most surprising passages describe how political leaders well outside Meacham’s pantheon stood up to racists and right-wing demagogues. Sean Wilentz, New York Times, "A Battle for the ‘Soul of America’? It’s as Old as America, One Historian Notes," 21 May 2018 Spider-Man would go on to become arguably the most indispensable and recognizable character in the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange a member of its permanent pantheon. Karen Matthews, BostonGlobe.com, "Steve Ditko, 90, Spider-Man cocreator," 7 July 2018 Spider-Man would go on to become arguably the most indispensable and recognizable character in the Marvel universe, and Doctor Strange a member of its permanent pantheon. Karen Matthews And Eric Dalton, chicagotribune.com, "Steve Ditko, Spider-Man co-creator, dies at age 90," 7 July 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for pantheon

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

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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

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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

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