pavilion

1 of 2

noun

pa·​vil·​ion pə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce pavilion (audio)
1
a
: a large often sumptuous tent
the white pavilions of the Turkish irregular cavalryA. H. Layard
b
: something resembling a canopy or tent
tree ferns spread their delicate pavilionsBlanche E. Baughan
2
a
: a part of a building projecting from the rest
… rang the bell of the little pavilionGertrude Stein
b
: one of several detached or semidetached units into which a building is sometimes divided
3
a
: 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

pavilion

2 of 2

verb

pavilioned; pavilioning; pavilions

transitive verb

: to furnish or cover with or put in a pavilion

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
The museum will officially open the new pavilion on November 3. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Sep. 2023 But its mission has been ambiguous, down to the name, with its whiff of World’s Fair pavilions. Siddhartha Mitter, New York Times, 4 Sep. 2023 However, there was another first that came into view when the King was pictured enjoying the games from the royal pavilion—a new tartan created specially for him. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 3 Sep. 2023 The locations are Little League Park, concession stand building (facing Field #1); Northgate Park pavilion; Veterans Memorial Park concession stand building (facing flagpole/playground); and Schwartz Road Park concession stand building (facing parking lot). Jshortavon, cleveland, 2 Sep. 2023 The first high school pavilion was built in 2020 at Marshall. Lia Assimakopoulos, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2023 According to Ahlström, the family plans to make this the site of an ambitious design center and world-class arts pavilion. Arati Menon, Condé Nast Traveler, 25 Aug. 2023 And over on the eastern side, the primary suite is a free-standing pavilion complete with an ensuite bath and an outdoor lounge. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 25 Aug. 2023 The cafe is located in the pavilion overlooking the parking lot at the entrance to the observatory. Anna Braz, Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pavilion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near pavilion

Cite this Entry

“Pavilion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pavilion. Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

pavilion

noun
pa·​vil·​ion
pə-ˈvil-yən
1
: a usually large tent with a peaked or rounded top
2
: a lightly constructed building serving as a shelter in a park, garden, or athletic field
3
: a part of a building that extends from the main part
4
: a building partly or completely detached from the main building or group of buildings
Etymology

Noun

Middle English pavillioun "a large decorated tent," from early French pavillioun "tent," from Latin papilion-, papilio "butterfly"

Word Origin
The Latin word papilio meant "butterfly." In a later stage of Latin, papilio also came to be used to mean "a tent." This probably happened because the top of a colorful tent looked like the spread wings of a butterfly. This meaning was borrowed into early French as pavillioun. Later, the French word came into English and is now spelled pavilion. Over the years, pavilion acquired additional meanings in English, all having to do with a building of some kind. But a large and richly decorated tent—as colorful as a butterfly—is still sometimes called a pavilion.

Medical Definition

pavilion

noun
pa·​vil·​ion pə-ˈvil-yən How to pronounce pavilion (audio)
1
: pinna
2
: a detached or semidetached part of a hospital devoted to a special use
a maternity pavilion
a nuclear medicine pavilion

More from Merriam-Webster on pavilion

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!