- (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.
- an Indian or Far Eastern temple, esp a tower, usually pyramidal and having many storeys
n.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). 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.