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

Plans also call for benches, a pavilion area and other amenities. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "Tired of being stuck in JoCo traffic? Here's what's up with road work this summer," 31 May 2018 Last fall, the Bel Air Lions donated money to the Town of Bel Air to construct a new shelter/pavilion at the playground. The Aegis, "Pavilion installed at Shamrock Park, equipment improved," 13 July 2018 Catch a video of the pavilion at, or listen to a 2016 panel discussion on how the aerospace industry shaped California. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Satellites sweeping over Earth are turned into sound at NASA pavilion," 2 June 2018 Normally, national pavilions at the Biennale tend to showcase renderings, models, and sketches documenting the creation of buildings. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, "The Most Surprising Entry in Venice’s Architecture Biennale? The Vatican’s," 25 May 2018 The same collection of groups collaborated to build the pavilion and memorial. Detroit Free Press, "For the 51st anniversary of rebellion, a free screening of '12th and Clairmount'," 13 July 2018 In the grassy backyard, a swimming pool, spa and pavilion take in panoramic canyon and mountain views. Jack Flemming,, "Kim and Kanye’s former Bel-Air mansion hits the market for $18 million," 4 July 2018 Set within the rock formation of Bukkekjerka, an old Sami sacrificial site found on the island of Andøya, is a sculptural pavilion formed by a swooping slab of concrete that angles upward before folding down. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Concrete rest stop mimics its rocky site," 11 June 2018 There is also a 3,000 square-foot poolside pavilion and staff accommodations, equalling a total of about 15,000 square-feet, all told. Megan Stein,, "Richard Nixon's 'Western White House' in California Hits the Market for $63.5 Million," 30 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

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for pavilion

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

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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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