See more synonyms for cupola on
  1. Architecture.
    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.
  2. any of various domelike structures.
  3. 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 confusedcopula cupola Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cupola

vault, belfry, lantern

Examples from the Web for cupola

Historical Examples of cupola

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for cupola


  1. a roof or ceiling in the form of a dome
  2. a small structure, usually domed, on the top of a roof or dome
  3. a protective dome for a gun on a warship
  4. a vertical air-blown coke-fired cylindrical furnace in which iron is remelted for casting
Derived Formscupolated (ˈkjuːpəˌleɪtɪd), adjective

Word Origin for cupola

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

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

cupola in Medicine


  1. 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.

cupola in Culture



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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.