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[puh-goh-duh] /pəˈgoʊ də/
(in India, Burma, China, etc.) a temple or sacred building, usually a pyramidlike tower and typically having upward-curving roofs over the individual stories.
any of several former gold or silver coins of southern India, usually bearing a figure of such a temple, first issued in the late 16th century and later also by British, French, and Dutch traders.
Origin of pagoda
1625-35; < Portuguese pagode temple ≪ Persian butkada (but idol + kada temple, dwelling)
Related forms
pagodalike, adjective
subpagoda, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pagoda
Historical Examples
  • Marcel was some time cleaning up the kitchen, and his masters and he buried the poor cat in the garden under the pagoda.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet, part 2 Gustave Flaubert
  • Witness, for example, that sterile phenomenon, the pagoda of 'caste'!

    Fraternity John Galsworthy
  • There is no pagoda or shrine in Burma around which is not found a large number of these images.

  • The pagoda is hexagonal, and counts seven stories and twenty-eight windows.

  • On arriving at the Pramane, the urn is placed upon the pagoda, there to remain for seven days.

  • When they reached the platform in front of the pagoda, their syces took their horses.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
  • Low conical hills rise from the banks of the river, each crowned by a pagoda, around which are many "kyoungs" and "zeyats."

    Burma R.Talbot Kelly
  • No attacks were made by the enemy, after the defeat of the assault upon the pagoda.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
  • Dr. Milne asserts that Ningpo is 10,000 years old, and that the pagoda was raised antecedent to the city being built.

  • The movements of this force were eagerly watched from the terrace of the pagoda.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for pagoda


an Indian or Far Eastern temple, esp a tower, usually pyramidal and having many storeys
Word Origin
C17: from Portuguese pagode, ultimately from Sanskrit bhagavatī divine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pagoda

1580s, pagode (modern form from 1630s), from Portuguese pagode (early 16c.), perhaps from a corruption of Persian butkada, from but "idol" + kada "dwelling." Or perhaps from or influenced by Tamil pagavadi "house belonging to a deity," from Sanskrit bhagavati "goddess," fem. of bhagavat "blessed, adorable," from *bhagah "good fortune," from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion" (cf. Greek phagein "to eat;" see -phagous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pagoda in Culture

pagoda definition

A tower with several different stories, each of which has its own roof. Pagodas are common in eastern Asia and originally served religious purposes as memorials or shrines.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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