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See more synonyms for pagoda on Thesaurus.com
  1. (in India, Burma, China, etc.) a temple or sacred building, usually a pyramidlike tower and typically having upward-curving roofs over the individual stories.
  2. 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.
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Origin of pagoda

1625–35; < Portuguese pagode temple ≪ Persian butkada (but idol + kada temple, dwelling)
Related formspa·go·da·like, adjectivesub·pa·go·da, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pagoda

memorial, shrine, gazebo, temple, alcove, tower

Examples from the Web for pagoda

Historical Examples of pagoda

  • Not till he had promised all this did the Buddha let him out of the pagoda again.

    The Chinese Fairy Book


  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for pagoda


  1. an Indian or Far Eastern temple, esp a tower, usually pyramidal and having many storeys
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Word Origin for pagoda

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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pagoda in Culture


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.

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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.