from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A vaulted roof or ceiling.
  • noun A small dome set on a circular or polygonal base or resting on pillars.
  • noun A domelike structure surmounting a roof or dome, often used as a lookout or to admit light and air.
  • noun A cylindrical shaft type of blast furnace used for remelting metals, usually iron, before casting.
  • noun A small rounded and domed structure, as for observation, on a tracked, armored vehicle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In architecture, a vault, either hemispherical or produced by the revolution about its axis of two curves intersecting at the apex, or by a semi-ellipse covering a circular or polygonal area, and supported either upon four arches or upon solid walls.
  • noun The round top of any structure, as of a furnace; the structure itself. See cupola-furnace. Specifically
  • noun Milit., a revolving shot-proof turret, formed of strong timbers, and armored with massive iron plates.
  • noun In anatomy: The summit of the cochlea. The summit of an intestinal gland.
  • noun In conchology, the so-called dorsal or visceral hump, made by the heap of viscera.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Arch.) A roof having a rounded form, hemispherical or nearly so; also, a ceiling having the same form. When on a large scale it is usually called dome.
  • noun A small structure standing on the top of a dome; a lantern.
  • noun A furnace for melting iron or other metals in large quantity, -- used chiefly in foundries and steel works.
  • noun A revolving shot-proof turret for heavy ordnance.
  • noun (Anat.) The top of the spire of the cochlea of the ear.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun architecture A dome-shaped ornamental structure located on top of a larger roof or dome.
  • noun military A small turret, usually on a hatch of an armoured fighting vehicle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a vertical cylindrical furnace for melting iron for casting
  • noun a roof in the form of a dome


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Italian, from Late Latin cūpula, diminutive of Latin cūpa, tub.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian cupola, from Latin cupula ("little tub"); from Latin cupa, cuppa ("cup"); named for its resemblance to a cup turned over.


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  • Can also be architectural: "A cupola is a dome-shaped ornamental structure placed on the top of a larger roof or dome. In some cases, the entire main roof of a tower or spire can be a cupola. More frequently, however, the cupola is a smaller structure which sets on top of the main roof."

    December 22, 2007

  • Named after Frances Ford Cupola, of course. ;-)

    December 29, 2007

  • I'm glad this word has been listed a cupola times.

    May 6, 2008

  • *groans in appreciation*

    May 6, 2008

  • Now take "The Godfather", or "Apocalypse Now" - there's a good cupola movies.

    March 9, 2010