a. A religious building of East Asia and Southeast Asia, especially a multistory Buddhist tower with overhanging eaves separating each level, erected as a memorial or shrine.
b. A stupa.
2. A structure, such as a garden pavilion, built in imitation of a multistory Buddhist tower.
[Portuguese pagode, perhaps from Tamil pagavadi, from Sanskrit bhagavatī, goddess, from feminine of bhagavat-, blessed, from bhagaḥ, good fortune; see bhag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)pagoda
Gojunoto Pagoda on Itsukushima Island
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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