ro·​tun·​da | \rō-ˈtən-də \

Definition of rotunda 

1 : a round building especially : one covered by a dome

2a : a large round room

b : a large central area (as in a hotel)

Examples of rotunda in a Sentence

We stood inside the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Recent Examples on the Web

Ann Pålsson, a Swedish publishing veteran who headed the New Academy’s four-person jury, announced the decision in the rotunda of the Stockholm Public Library. Brenda Cronin, WSJ, "Not-the-Nobel Prize in Literature Is Announced," 12 Oct. 2018 John McCain as the veteran senator’s casket arrived to lie in state under the Capitol rotunda -- with political leaders paying tribute to McCain’s service to the country in both the military and in Congress. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "John McCain honored at US Capitol, lawmakers pay tribute to 'generational leader'," 31 Aug. 2018 Before a rotunda of viewers assembled for his one-night event, the performers — an ethnically diverse mix of men and women around the ages of 18 to 70 — bore no sign of their group affiliation. Meredith Mendelsohn, New York Times, "Can an Artist Shift the Gun Debate?," 22 June 2018 The grand foyer offers a view of the triple-tiered rotunda ceiling and curved stairway. Houston Chronicle, "Westin Homes raises record funds from Benefit Homes project," 10 June 2018 Lawmakers and their staffs from both sides of the aisle filled the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday morning to pay their respects to the late Rev. Billy Graham, widely viewed as the most influential pastor in American politics. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Trump prays for God to ‘raise up’ another Billy Graham following the evangelical leader’s death," 28 Feb. 2018 Thirteen protesters demanding removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from the rotunda at California's Capitol were arrested Monday, authorities say. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Protesters of Christopher Columbus 'genocide' climb statue, get arrested at California Capitol," 5 June 2018 Portraits of Lurleen Wallace and her husband, four-time Alabama governor George Wallace, were moved in 2015 from the rotunda to the hall leading to the Secretary of State's Office. Ivana Hrynkiw,, "One dead in Lipscomb house fire Wednesday morning," 2 May 2018 Outside, a figure of young Abe poses on a rock, eyes gazing across the museum rotunda toward a model of his future home, the White House. Katherine Rodeghier,, "Looking for Lincoln on a grown-up getaway to Springfield," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rotunda.' 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 rotunda

circa 1566, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rotunda

Italian rotonda, from Latin rotunda, feminine of rotundus

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Statistics for rotunda

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for rotunda

The first known use of rotunda was circa 1566

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English Language Learners Definition of rotunda

: a large, round room and especially one covered by a dome


Medical Definition of rotunda 

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rotunda

Spanish Central: Translation of rotunda Encyclopedia article about rotunda

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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