[puh-vil-yuh n]
See more synonyms for pavilion on
  1. a light, usually open building used for shelter, concerts, exhibits, etc., as in a park or fair.
  2. any of a number of separate or attached buildings forming a hospital or the like.
  3. 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.
  4. a tent, especially a large and elaborate one.
  5. a small, ornamental building in a garden.
  6. Also called base. Jewelry. the part of a cut gem below the girdle.
verb (used with object)
  1. to shelter in or as if in a pavilion.
  2. to furnish with pavilions.

Origin of pavilion

1250–1300; Middle English pavilon < Old French paveillon < Latin pāpiliōn- (stem of pāpiliō) butterfly
Related formsun·pa·vil·ioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pavilion

structure, awning, canopy, cover, dome, covering

Examples from the Web for pavilion

Contemporary Examples of pavilion

Historical Examples of pavilion

  • 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


  1. British a building at a sports ground, esp a cricket pitch, in which players change
  2. a summerhouse or other decorative shelter
  3. a building or temporary structure, esp one that is open and ornamental, for housing exhibitions
  4. a large ornate tent, esp one with a peaked top, as used by medieval armies
  5. one of a set of buildings that together form a hospital or other large institution
  6. one of four main facets on a brilliant-cut stone between the girdle and the culet
verb (tr) literary
  1. to place or set in or as if in a pavilionpavilioned in splendour
  2. to provide with a pavilion or pavilions

Word Origin for pavilion

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

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