pantheon

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noun pan·the·on \ˈpan(t)-thē-ˌän, -ən\

Definition of pantheon

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

  2. 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. 3 :  the gods of a people; especially :  the officially recognized gods

  4. 4 :  a group of illustrious or notable persons or things He occupies a place in the pantheon of great American writers.

pantheon was our Word of the Day on 11/12/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of pantheon in a Sentence

  1. the Greek and Roman pantheons

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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


First Known Use: 14th century


PANTHEON Defined for English Language Learners

pantheon

play
noun pan·the·on \ˈpan(t)-thē-ˌän, -ən\

Definition of pantheon for English Language Learners

  • : the gods of a particular country or group of people

  • : 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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