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From Middle English pavilloun, from Anglo-Norman pavilloun, from Latin pāpiliōnem, form of pāpiliō(butterfly, moth) (due to resemblance of tent to a butterfly’s wings), of unknown origin.[1]

Cognate to French pavillon(pavilion) and papillon(butterfly), and similar terms in other Romance languages.



pavilion (plural pavilions)

  1. an ornate tent
  2. a light roofed structure used as a shelter in a public place
  3. a structure, sometimes temporary, erected to house exhibits at a fair, etc
  4. (cricket) the building where the players change clothes, wait to bat, and eat their meals
  5. a detached or semi-detached building at a hospital or other building complex
  6. the lower surface of a brilliant-cut gemstone, lying between the girdle and collet
  7. (anatomy) the cartiliginous part of the outer ear; auricle
  8. (anatomy) The fimbriated extremity of the Fallopian tube.
  9. (military) A flag, ensign, or banner.
  10. (heraldry) A tent used as a bearing.
  11. A covering; a canopy; figuratively, the sky.
    • Shelley
      The pavilion of heaven is bare.


Related terms[edit]


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pavilion (third-person singular simple present pavilions, present participle pavilioning, simple past and past participle pavilioned)

  1. (transitive) to furnish with a pavilion
  2. (transitive) to put inside a pavilion
  3. (transitive, figuratively) to enclose or surround (after Robert Grant's hymn line "pavilioned in splendour")



  1. ^ pavilion”, in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–.