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] Doublet of papillon.

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


  • IPA(key): /pəˈvɪljən/
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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.
    1. A flag or ensign carried at the gaff of the mizzenmast.
  10. (heraldry) A tent used as a bearing.
  11. A covering; a canopy; figuratively, the sky.


Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


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. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “pavilion”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.