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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 ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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