par·​vis ˈpär-vəs How to pronounce parvis (audio)
variants or less commonly parvise
: a court or enclosed space before a building (such as a church)
: a single portico or colonnade before a church

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The western façade, giving onto the parvis, the open area before the cathedral, was not completed until around 1240, and the upper gallery of the nave and the two towers on the west façade were finished between 1225 and 1250. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 19 Apr. 2019

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

Word History


Middle English parvis, from Anglo-French, modification of Late Latin paradisus enclosed park — more at paradise

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of parvis was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near parvis

Cite this Entry

“Parvis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

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