from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An enclosed courtyard or space at the entrance to a building, especially a cathedral, that is sometimes surrounded by porticoes or colonnades.
- n. One of the porticoes or colonnades surrounding such a space.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An enclosed courtyard in front of a building, especially a cathedral.
- n. A portico surrounding such a space.
- n. The porch of a church, or the room over it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A court of entrance to, or an inclosed space before, a church; hence, a church porch; -- sometimes formerly used as place of meeting, as for lawyers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A vacant inclosed space of greater or less extent before a church (often slightly raised), and under the jurisdiction of the church authorities; also, the outer court of a palace or great house.
- n. A room over a church porch employed as a school-room or a storage-room, or as a lodging for some ecclesiastic.
- n. A church porch, where lawyers were in the habit of meeting for consultation; specifically, the portico of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a courtyard or portico in front of a building (especially a cathedral)
Middle English, from Old French, alteration of pareis, paradise, from Late Latin paradīsus, garden, paradise; see paradise.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman parvis, Middle French parvis, from Late Latin paradisus ("paradise") (used in the Middle Ages to describe the court in front of St Peter's in Rome, and later similar courts in front of other churches). (Wiktionary)