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ki·osk (kēŏsk, kē-ŏsk)
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n.
1. A small structure, usually open in front, used as a newsstand or a place for selling goods or conducting transactions, as at a bank.
2. A small structure housing an electronic terminal for public use, as for purchasing tickets or accessing information.
3. A usually cylindrical structure on which advertisements are posted.
4. Archaic A small open gazebo or pavilion.

[Ultimately (partly via French kiosque and Italian chiosco, with French ki- and Italian chi- representing Turkish palatalized k-) from Turkish şk, gazebo, pavilion, from Persian kōšk, palace, from Middle Persian, of unknown origin.]

Word History: Kiosk comes from the Turkish word şk, which originally referred to a kind of open pavilion or summerhouse in Turkey and Persia, often built on a hexagonal or many-sided base. The upper classes of the Ottoman Empire would enjoy entertainments and view their gardens in the comfort of such buildings. When the word first began to appear in English, kiosk referred to these Middle Eastern pavilions, which Europeans imitated in their own gardens and parks. In France and Belgium, the word kiosque was applied to something lower on the scale, structures resembling these pavilions but used as places to sell newspapers or as bandstands. When such lowly structures began to be built in England for these purposes, the word kiosk was reborrowed from French in the middle of the 1800s with the meaning "a place where newspapers are sold."
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kiosk

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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