Pavilions are made for pleasure. A traveling circus takes place under a big colorful pavilion or billowing tent. A wedding might take place under a pavilion or freestanding decorative building in a garden.

The word pavilion comes from the Latin papilionem meaning "tent" or literally "butterfly." Think of the sweeping beautiful wings of a butterfly and how they sort of resemble the folds of a tent. In the eighteenth century, pavilions were popular in Europe. Wealthy people would build these small temple-like buildings where they could go to reflect and find calm. Today, the word is more commonly used for big tents or outdoor spaces where events are held.

Definitions of pavilion

n large and often sumptuous tent

Type of:
collapsible shelter, tent
a portable shelter (usually of canvas stretched over supporting poles and fastened to the ground with ropes and pegs)

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