Definitions

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

  • n. A religious building of the Far East, especially a multistory Buddhist tower, erected as a memorial or shrine.
  • n. A stupa.
  • n. A structure, such as a garden pavilion, built in imitation of a multistory Buddhist tower.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Asian religious building, especially a multistory Buddhist tower, erected as a shrine or temple.
  • n. An ornamental structure, of that design, erected in a park or garden.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A term by which Europeans designate religious temples and tower-like buildings of the Hindoos and Buddhists of India, Farther India, China, and Japan, -- usually but not always, devoted to idol worship.
  • n. An idol.
  • n. A gold or silver coin, of various kinds and values, formerly current in India. The Madras gold pagoda was worth about three and a half rupees.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the far East, as India, China, Burma, etc., a sacred tower, usually more or less pyramidal in outline, richly carved, painted, or otherwise adorned, and of several stories, connected or not with a temple.
  • n. An idol.
  • n. [Formerly also pagody; so called with ref. to the figure of a pagoda on the coin. The natives in Madras called the coin hun and varahā (Telugu) or varāhan (Tamil).] A gold coin current in India from the sixteenth century.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology, a genus of mollusks.
  • n. A small ornamental structure made in imitation of an Eastern pagoda: especially, such a building in the streets of a city in which various small articles, such as tea, etc., are sold.

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

  • n. an Asian temple; usually a pyramidal tower with an upward curving roof

Etymologies

Portuguese pagode, perhaps from Tamil pagavadi, from Sanskrit bhagavatī, goddess, from feminine of bhagavat-, blessed, from bhagaḥ, good fortune.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Persian بت‌کده (bot-kade), an idol temple, from بت (bot, idol) + کده (kade, temple). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "I think I shall put into the tablecloth a certain pagoda I remember."

    The Blue Cat of Castle Town

  • The four-storey pagoda, which is almost four feet high and one-and-a-half feet wide, is thought by archaeologists to be one of the 84,000 pagodas commissioned by Ashoka the Great in the second century BC to house the remains of the Buddha.

    "Buddha's Skull Found in Nanking?"

  • Although the age and source of the Buddhas is unknown, four additional silver and bronze statues were also found beneath the pagoda, which is thought to be at least 200 years old, leading archaeologists to suspect that the diminutive Buddhas themselves are older.

    Baby Buddhas

  • One British visitor, Henry Yule, dubbed the pagoda an

    An "Extraordinary Folly"?

  • The area around the pagoda was also mined, except for a narrow corridor which ran from the pagoda to the northwest corner of the compound

    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE REPORT

  • The pagoda was a shopping plaza on Bolsa Avenue where no sign was printed in English.

    The Black Echo

  • To the right of the pagoda were the heavily embellished tombs of the most venerated monks who had lived here.

    Floating City

  • The pagoda is the most venerated of all Buddhist places of worship, containing as it does not only the eight sacred hairs of Gautama, but also relics of the three Buddhas who preceded him.

    Ranching, Sport and Travel

  • The pagoda was the nearest cover to them, and they raced for it with all their speed, the quick-firing Mannlichers scourging them with a whistling shower of lead as they flew.

    Jack Haydon's Quest

  • Among the offerings ranged on the steps of the pagoda was a native painting, a quaint piece of work which drew Jack's attention at once.

    Jack Haydon's Quest

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