pa·​vil·​ion | \pə-ˈvil-yən \

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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Synonyms for pavilion

Synonyms: Noun

alcove, belvedere, casino, gazebo, kiosk, summerhouse

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Examples of pavilion in a Sentence


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

And its downtown district is a vibrant place with a new hotel, a marina and seaplane base, a popular splash park, an event pavilion, new restaurants, and a train depot that offers locomotive rides for tourists. Martin E. Comas,, "Tavares looks to add performing arts center to booming downtown," 15 June 2018 The spacious master suite opens to the outside, where an outdoor pavilion with a fireplace overlooks a pool and spa. Jack Flemming,, "‘Dr. 90210’ gives posh Beverly Hills Post Office home a price lift," 14 June 2018 A few years ago, the East Bridgewater Commercial Club dedicated an outdoor pavilion to Moskos, and in 2017 the town’s scholarship committee gave out an additional scholarship in his name. Zipporah Osei,, "East Bridgewater gives life to war veteran’s legacy," 25 May 2018 This particular cemetery has one small chapel and three outdoor pavilions that are available for services that provide for 21 burials, Monday through Friday. Wesley E. Wright, Houston Chronicle, "Burial benefits for veterans explained," 18 May 2018 The attention has now shifted to the new Little League field, the second phase of a three-phase project culminating in a new town hall, as well as a playground and pavilion for families. David Anderson, The Aegis, "New Little League field planned for Perryville," 16 May 2018 In the summer, this charming outdoor pavilion hosts a program of 50 free, family-friendly concerts, spanning a variety of genres. Los Angeles Magazine, "100 Things You Can Do for Free in L.A.," 16 Jan. 2018 With the 3,000-square-foot entertainment pavilion and various other buildings, there’s a total of about 15,000 square feet of living space. Jack Flemming,, "Hot Property: Joey McIntyre bids adieu to his familiar L.A. block," 9 June 2018 Tickets for the game are $14 for upper infield, $20 for field pavilion and $25 for Toyota Terrace reserved. John Maffei,, "Petco Park to host high school baseball all-star game," 23 May 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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Dictionary Entries near pavilion





pavilion roof


pavillon chinois

Statistics for pavilion

Last Updated

31 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pavilion

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

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More Definitions for pavilion



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

: a large building that is used for sports or public events


pa·​vil·​ion | \pə-ˈvil-yən \

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 \

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).


playful or foolish behavior

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