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[kyoo-puh-luh] /ˈkyu pə lə/
  1. a light structure on a dome or roof, serving as a belfry, lantern, or belvedere.
  2. a dome, especially one covering a circular or polygonal area.
any of various domelike structures.
Metallurgy. a vertical furnace for melting iron to be cast.
Origin of cupola
1540-50; < Italian < Latin cūpula, equivalent to cūp(a) tub + -ula -ule. Cf. cup
Can be confused
copula, cupola. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cupola
Historical Examples
  • From this cupola thousands of icicles of the most varied shapes were hanging.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • From here a steep set of steps led to the cupola on the roof.

    Keziah Coffin Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It hung by the side of the dial in the cupola of the old Town Hall.

  • Its cupola is decidedly out of proportion to the small body of the structure.

    Aztec Land Maturin M. Ballou
  • The lofty nest, or Termitarium, constitutes a hillock in the form of a cupola.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
  • But far up in a tall old house, crowned by a cupola, was a girl who did not cry.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • First I raps on his cupola with me knuckles, just to ring him up.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • There was also an ornamented cross in this cupola, and other crosses in other chambers.

  • Would to God I had set eyes on her and her only that day under the cupola!

    Balthasar Anatole France
  • It looks well, by moonlight; how the tin of the cupola glistens!

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for cupola


a roof or ceiling in the form of a dome
a small structure, usually domed, on the top of a roof or dome
a protective dome for a gun on a warship
a vertical air-blown coke-fired cylindrical furnace in which iron is remelted for casting
Derived Forms
cupolated (ˈkjuːpəˌleɪtɪd) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Italian, from Late Latin cūpula a small cask, from Latin cūpa tub
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cupola

1540s, from Italian cupola, from Late Latin cupula "a little tub," diminutive of Latin cupa "cask, barrel" (see cup (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cupola in Medicine

cupola cu·po·la (kyōō'pə-lə)
A cup-shaped or domelike structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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cupola in Culture
cupola [(kyooh-puh-luh)]

A small ornamental structure rising from a roof. Cupolas are often dome shaped.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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