pa·​vil·​ion | \ pə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce pavilion (audio) \

Definition of pavilion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a large often sumptuous tent the white pavilions of the Turkish irregular cavalry— A. H. Layard
b : something resembling a canopy or tent tree ferns spread their delicate pavilions— Blanche E. Baughan
2a : a part of a building projecting from the rest … rang the bell of the little pavilion— Gertrude Stein
b : one of several detached or semidetached units into which a building is sometimes divided
3a : a usually open sometimes ornamental structure in a garden, park, or place of recreation that is used for entertainment or shelter a dance pavilion a band pavilion
b : a temporary structure erected at an exposition by an individual exhibitor visited the Chinese pavilion at the international exposition
4 : the lower faceted part of a brilliant below the girdle (see girdle entry 1 sense 2) — see brilliant illustration


pavilioned; pavilioning; pavilions

Definition of pavilion (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to furnish or cover with or put in a pavilion

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Examples of pavilion in a Sentence

Noun The World's Fair had numerous pavilions. the park's pavilions may be rented for wedding receptions and other social gatherings
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Find Santa House in the pavilion along the Riverwalk, at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Webster Street, Naperville. Web Behrens,, "15 Christmas, holiday things to do in the Chicago area with the kids," 24 Nov. 2019 At the temple near Thailand's mountainous border with Myanmar, the boys and their coach sat barefooted in a large pavilion in their orange robes. Sakchai Lalit, Fox News, "Thailand's rescued cave boys end stay at Buddhist temple," 4 Aug. 2018 Stewart Beach, one of Galveston's most popular destinations, is due for a makeover with a new pavilion full of cool amenities. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Photos: Makeover planned for Stewart Beach in Galveston," 3 Apr. 2018 More than 225 sustainable exhibits for home, garden and life; seven pavilions of green good earth living; 60 eco-friendly seminars. oregonlive, "Homes and gardens events around Portland: holiday tours, book events, workshops and hikes," 29 Nov. 2019 The band is out of the orchestra pit and placed onstage in a tiki hut pavilion, like at a Caribbean resort. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Should you ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ or not? Musical hits Broward Center with Jimmy Buffett hits | Review," 20 Nov. 2019 Christelis once drove by to see a group constructing their own ad hoc wedding pavilion on the lawn — are an ongoing problem, and the trustees believe that achieving better recognition as a private entity would help mitigate those problems., "Longfellow’s Wayside Inn," 4 Oct. 2019 Picasso, who had been commissioned by the Spanish Republican government to create a large mural for the Spanish pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, used the eyewitness accounts of the bombing as the inspiration. Fox News, "UN apologizes to Spain for mischaracterizing bombing that inspired famous Picasso painting," 17 Sep. 2019 Sometime in the next two years, its wall will be torn down to make way for a new pavilion. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "A Work of Art at the French Open, Created One Name and Score at a Time," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pavilion.' 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 pavilion


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pavilion


Middle English pavilloun, pavillioun, from Anglo-French, from Latin papilion-, papilio butterfly; perhaps akin to Old High German fīfaltra butterfly

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Learn More about pavilion

Time Traveler for pavilion

Time Traveler

The first known use of pavilion was in the 13th century

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Statistics for pavilion

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pavilion.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pavilion


How to pronounce pavilion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pavilion

: a building in a park or garden that usually has open sides and is used for parties, concerts, or other events
: a temporary building that is used at public events and exhibitions
US : a large building that is used for sports or public events


pa·​vil·​ion | \ pə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce pavilion (audio) \

Kids Definition of pavilion

1 : a very large tent
2 : a building usually with open sides that is used as a place for entertainment or shelter in a park or garden


pa·​vil·​ion | \ pə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce pavilion (audio) \

Medical Definition of pavilion

1 : pinna
2 : a detached or semidetached part of a hospital devoted to a special use a maternity pavilion a nuclear medicine pavilion

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Comments on pavilion

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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