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[puh-goh-duh] /pəˈgoʊ də/
(in India, Burma, China, etc.) a temple or sacred building, usually a pyramidlike tower and typically having upward-curving roofs over the individual stories.
any of several former gold or silver coins of southern India, usually bearing a figure of such a temple, first issued in the late 16th century and later also by British, French, and Dutch traders.
Origin of pagoda
1625-35; < Portuguese pagode temple ≪ Persian butkada (but idol + kada temple, dwelling)
Related forms
pagodalike, adjective
subpagoda, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pagoda
Historical Examples
  • Not till he had promised all this did the Buddha let him out of the pagoda again.

  • The pagoda might be an erroneous variant of the thunderbolt Vadjra.

  • Looking down from her pagoda she saw a wanderer passing below.

  • She called out, but the pagoda was so high that her voice did not carry down to him.

  • When the tale had been told him he took a heavy ax and went to the pagoda.

  • With them he returned the following morning and they climbed up into the pagoda.

  • The view of the pagoda from the avenue is indeed126 wonderful.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • Then our party divided, some going to see the pagoda, and others to see the rice-mills.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • He holds a pagoda in one hand and a dragon sword in the other.

    Japanese Fairy World William Elliot Griffis
  • He supported many monks, he gave largely to the gilding of the pagoda.

    The Soul of a People H. Fielding
British Dictionary definitions for pagoda


an Indian or Far Eastern temple, esp a tower, usually pyramidal and having many storeys
Word Origin
C17: from Portuguese pagode, ultimately from Sanskrit bhagavatī divine
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 pagoda

1580s, pagode (modern form from 1630s), from Portuguese pagode (early 16c.), perhaps from a corruption of Persian butkada, from but "idol" + kada "dwelling." Or perhaps from or influenced by Tamil pagavadi "house belonging to a deity," from Sanskrit bhagavati "goddess," fem. of bhagavat "blessed, adorable," from *bhagah "good fortune," from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion" (cf. Greek phagein "to eat;" see -phagous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pagoda in Culture

pagoda definition

A tower with several different stories, each of which has its own roof. Pagodas are common in eastern Asia and originally served religious purposes as memorials or shrines.

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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