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1620s, "open pavilion," from French kiosque (17c.), from Turkish koshk, kiöshk "pavilion, palace," from Persian kushk "palace, portico." Later of newsstands (1865). Modern sense influenced by British telephone kiosk (1928).
A stall set up in a public place where one can obtain information, e.g. tourist information. The information may be provided by a human or by a computer. In the latter case, the data may be stored locally (e.g. on CD-ROM) or accessed via a network using some kind of distributed information retreival system such as Gopher or World-Wide Web.