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From Middle English pament, from Anglo-Norman pavement and reinforced by Middle French pavement; both from Latin pavīmentum (paved surface or floor), from pavīre (to beat, to ram, to tread down). Morphologically pave +‎ -ment.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpeɪvmənt/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪvmənt


pavement (usually uncountable, plural pavements)

  1. (now chiefly in technical contexts) A paved surface; a hard covering on the ground. [from 13th c.]
  2. (chiefly British) A paved path, for the use of pedestrians, located at the side of a road. [from 18th c.]
    Synonyms: (American English) sidewalk, (Australia, New Zealand and India) footpath, (Borrowed from French) trottoir
    • 1837, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], “Meeting of Old Friends”, in Ethel Churchill: Or, The Two Brides. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, page 194:
      It was a cold and rainy afternoon as Ethel Churchill sat at the window of their new abode, a house in one of the streets leading from the Strand to the river. It was the day after their arrival, and nothing could well be more gloomy than the view: the pavement was wet, and a yellow mist obscured every object,...
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess[1]:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall. Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
  3. (now chiefly Canada, US) A paving (paved part) of a road or other thoroughfare; the roadway or road surface. [from 13th c.]
    • 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), London: Harrison and Co., [], →OCLC:
      [H]e attempted to recover his importance, by haranguing upon the Roman highways, when Mr. Jolter desired the company to take notice of the fine pavement upon which they travelled from Paris into Flanders [] .
    • 1991, Airpower Journal 1911, page 45:
      The antirunway munitions are specifically designed to cause maximum destruction to airfield pavements.
  4. (now chiefly Canada, US) The paved part of an area other than a road or sidewalk, such as a cobblestone plaza, asphalt schoolyard or playground, or parking lot.
  5. (architecture) The interior flooring of a church sanctuary, between the communion rail and the altar. [from 19th c.]

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]



Inherited from Old French pavement, from the verb paver +‎ -ment, based on Latin pavimentum (a hard surface, a pounded surface).



pavement m (plural pavements)

  1. paving
  2. tiled floor

Further reading[edit]

Old French[edit]


paver +‎ -ment, based on Latin pavimentum (a hard surface, a pounded surface).


pavement oblique singularm (oblique plural pavemenz or pavementz, nominative singular pavemenz or pavementz, nominative plural pavement)

  1. a paved room


  • English: pavement
  • French: pavement