noun pa·vil·ion \ pə-ˈvil-yən \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of pavilion

1 a : 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
2 a : 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
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 1girdle 2) — see brilliant illustration

Examples of pavilion in a Sentence

  1. The World's Fair had numerous pavilions.

  2. the park's pavilions may be rented for wedding receptions and other social gatherings

Recent Examples of pavilion from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of pavilion

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

pavilion Synonyms

Related Words


Other Architecture Terms




Definition of pavilion

: to furnish or cover with or put in a pavilion

First Known Use of pavilion

14th century

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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Other Architecture Terms

PAVILION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of pavilion for English Language Learners

  • : 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

PAVILION Defined for Kids


noun pa·vil·ion \ pə-ˈvil-yən \

Definition of pavilion for Students

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

Medical Dictionary


noun 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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one who attends or assists a leader

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