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[puh-vil-yuh n] /pəˈvɪl yən/
a light, usually open building used for shelter, concerts, exhibits, etc., as in a park or fair.
any of a number of separate or attached buildings forming a hospital or the like.
Architecture. a projecting element of a façade, used especially at the center or at each end and usually treated so as to suggest a tower.
a tent, especially a large and elaborate one.
a small, ornamental building in a garden.
Also called base. Jewelry. the part of a cut gem below the girdle.
verb (used with object)
to shelter in or as if in a pavilion.
to furnish with pavilions.
Origin of pavilion
1250-1300; Middle English pavilon < Old French paveillon < Latin pāpiliōn- (stem of pāpiliō) butterfly
Related forms
unpavilioned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pavilion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the centre of the camp rose the pavilion of the queen—a palace in itself.

    Leila, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Before the city a pavilion had been erected in which I drank the stirrup-cup.

  • Vivian was now invited to the pavilion, where refreshments were prepared.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • Shall we look over into the Pool from the pavilion, or go down by the steps?

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • That was the spot, the pavilion was there at the end of a path.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for pavilion


(Brit) a building at a sports ground, esp a cricket pitch, in which players change
a summerhouse or other decorative shelter
a building or temporary structure, esp one that is open and ornamental, for housing exhibitions
a large ornate tent, esp one with a peaked top, as used by medieval armies
one of a set of buildings that together form a hospital or other large institution
one of four main facets on a brilliant-cut stone between the girdle and the culet
verb (transitive) (literary)
to place or set in or as if in a pavilion: pavilioned in splendour
to provide with a pavilion or pavilions
Word Origin
C13: from Old French pavillon canopied structure, from Latin pāpiliō butterfly, tent
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 pavilion

c.1200, "large, stately tent," from Old French paveillon "large tent; butterfly" (12c.), from Latin papilionem (nominative papilio) "butterfly, moth," in Medieval Latin "tent" (see papillon); the type of tent so called on resemblance to wings. Meaning "open building in a park, etc., used for shelter or entertainment" is attested from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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