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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Synonyms for pavilion

Synonyms: Noun

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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 French doors open to a covered pavilion with seating granting an expansive, elevated view. oregonlive, "On the market: Portland area homes for sale with year-round outdoor entertainment areas," 24 Jan. 2021 In back, a 1,100-square-foot private balcony hangs off the owner’s suite, taking in sweeping mountain views and overlooking the backyard with a pavilion, outdoor lounge and 25,000-gallon infinity pool. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property: Comedian Kathy Griffin cashes out in Bel-Air," 19 Dec. 2020 Together with the pavilion, rodeo arena and barns, the project center is a place where Katy ISD FFA agricultural projects and learning opportunities flourish. Tracy Maness, Chron, "Katy ISD seeks input for naming Agriculture Sciences Project Center," 28 Oct. 2020 The property already hosts the Austin-Welter Barn, a historic Will County landmark, as well as walking and equestrian trails, a pavilion, dog park, playground, wetlands and prairies. Michelle Mullins,, "Homer Township referendum seeks voter input on constructing multipurpose building at Trantina Farm," 9 Oct. 2020 It was designed by the architect Alexander Brodsky with a single purpose: a ceremonial pavilion for drinking vodka. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "What Dallas McMansions and a Russian palace alleged to be Vladimir Putin’s have in common," 5 Feb. 2021 Pereira designed three buildings, in a U shape, open to Wilshire Boulevard: the Ahmanson, for the permanent collection, a pavilion for special exhibitions, and a six-hundred-seat theatre. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "The Iconoclast Remaking Los Angeles’s Most Important Museum," 5 Oct. 2020 According to the new law, USGA also must reserve a 40-person hospitality pavilion for the Department of Commerce or a nonprofit organization that contracts with the state agency at each championship event. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "US Golf Association to get $40M in incentives to open headquarters in North Carolina," 9 Sep. 2020 The second phase of Camp Bespoke is expected to be completed next spring and will add six cabins with pools, six tipis, as well as a conference center, event pavilion and an outdoor amphitheater. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, "'Glamping' coming to Williamstown, Ky. with opening of new Camp Bespoke campgrounds this fall," 12 Aug. 2020

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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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

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pavilion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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
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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