ki·osk (kēŏsk′, kē-ŏsk)
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 köşk, gazebo, pavilion, from Persian kōšk, palace, from Middle Persian, of unknown origin.]
Word History: Kiosk comes from the Turkish word köşk, 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."
(click for a larger image)kiosk
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus