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

Along with Stanley Kowalski from A Streetcar Named Desire and Ricky Roma of Glengarry Glen Ross, Pale belongs in the pantheon of characters that can burnish the legacy of a young actor. Jason Zinoman, Vogue, "In Burn This, Adam Driver and Keri Russell Find Love in a Hopeless Place," 15 Apr. 2019 He was acclaimed as a member of a distinctively New Orleans piano pantheon alongside Jelly Roll Morton, James Booker, Tuts Washington, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Henry Butler, Quintessential New Orleans Pianist, Is Dead at 69," 4 July 2018 Neither did the library of writers and the pantheon of urban adventurers who unlocked the hidden places of Paris and London and the other great cities of the world. Christopher Borrelli,, "In a city full of journalists and photographers, does Chicago have any secrets left?," 1 May 2018 So how does her glittering headpiece compare to the pantheon of royal bridal tiaras? Brittany Talarico,, "The Meaning Behind Meghan Markle's Wedding Tiara: How It Pays Tribute to Her New Royal Family," 19 May 2018 Regardless of the result on Saturday, the debate as to whether this Real side deserve to be added to the pantheon of greats will continue. CNN, "Real Madrid face Liverpool for historic third straight Champions League title," 25 May 2018 Videogames enter the design pantheon this year, as what is perhaps the world’s most distinguished design museum, London’s 166-year-old Victoria and Albert Museum, opens its first exhibition solely dedicated to the craft. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In London, Videogames Ascend into the Art World," 3 Aug. 2018 And the new Sony box is a reminder, disc for disc, that Szell deserves a place in that pantheon. Allan Kozinn, WSJ, "‘George Szell: The Complete Columbia Album Collection’ Review: A Maestro’s Time in Cleveland Still Shines," 22 Aug. 2018 Her powers are about luck — but also trusting your instincts Her serendipitous powers are at the heart of what makes Domino compelling and put her in an eclectic pantheon of comic book characters that are supernaturally lucky, but with restrictions. Chris Sims, The Verge, "Domino deserves a spinoff film, and there are amazing comic stories to mine," 24 May 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

7 May 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



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 Encyclopedia article about pantheon

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something valued as if it were money

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