The dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
Interior view upward to the Byzantine domes and semi-domes of Hagia Sophia. See Commons file for annotations.
Fiberglass dome cottage in Davis, California. This dome was built in 1972 and is part of the Baggin's End student housing cooperative.

A dome (from Latin: domus) is an architectural element that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. The precise definition has been a matter of controversy. There are also a wide variety of forms and specialized terms to describe them. A dome can rest upon a rotunda or drum, and can be supported by columns or piers that transition to the dome through squinches or pendentives. A lantern may cover an oculus and may itself have another dome.

Domes have a long architectural lineage that extends back into prehistory and they have been constructed from mud, snow, stone, wood, brick, concrete, metal, glass, and plastic over the centuries. The symbolism associated with domes includes mortuary, celestial, and governmental traditions that have likewise developed over time.

Domes have been found from early Mesopotamia, which may explain the form's spread. They are found in Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Chinese architecture in the Ancient world, as well as among a number of contemporary indigenous building traditions. Dome structures were popular in Byzantine and medieval Islamic architecture, and there are numerous examples from Western Europe in the Middle Ages. The Renaissance architectural style spread from Italy in the Early modern period. Advancements in mathematics, materials, and production techniques since that time resulted in new dome types. The domes of the modern world can be found over religious buildings, legislative chambers, sports stadiums, and a variety of functional structures.


The English word "dome" ultimately derives from the Latin domus ("house")—which, up through the Renaissance, labeled a revered house, such as a Domus Dei, or "House of God", regardless of the shape of its roof. This is reflected in the uses of the Italian word duomo, the German/Icelandic/Danish word dom ("cathedral"), and the English word dome as late as 1656, when it meant a "Town-House, Guild-Hall, State-House, and Meeting-House in a city." The French word dosme came to acquire the meaning of a cupola vault, specifically, by 1660. This French definition gradually became the standard usage of the English dome in the eighteenth century as many of the most impressive Houses of God were built with monumental domes, and in response to the scientific need for more technical terms.[1]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Kuppel
العربية: قبة
aragonés: Cupula
asturianu: Cúpula
azərbaycanca: Günbəz
বাংলা: গম্বুজ
Bân-lâm-gú: Îⁿ-téng
башҡортса: Көмбәҙ
беларуская: Купал
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Купал
български: Купол
bosanski: Kupola
català: Cúpula
čeština: Kupole
Cymraeg: Cromen
dansk: Kuppel
Deutsch: Kuppel
eesti: Kuppel
Ελληνικά: Τρούλος
español: Cúpula
Esperanto: Kupolo
euskara: Kupula
فارسی: گنبد
Fiji Hindi: Dome
Gaeilge: Cruinneachán
galego: Cúpula
贛語: 圓頂
хальмг: Шала
Հայերեն: Գմբեթ
हिन्दी: गुम्बज़
hrvatski: Kupola
Ido: Kupolo
Bahasa Indonesia: Kubah
interlingua: Cupola
íslenska: Hvolfþak
italiano: Cupola
қазақша: Күмбез
Kiswahili: Kuba (jengo)
Кыргызча: Күмбөз
Latina: Tholus
latviešu: Kupols
lietuvių: Kupolas
magyar: Kupola
македонски: Купола
മലയാളം: അർധകുംഭകം
मराठी: घुमट
Bahasa Melayu: Kubah
Nederlands: Koepel (bouwkunst)
नेपाल भाषा: डोम
日本語: ドーム
norsk: Kuppel
norsk nynorsk: Kuppel
occitan: Copòla
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gumbaz
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਗੁੰਬਦ
پنجابی: گنبد
português: Cúpula
română: Dom
русский: Купол
Scots: Dome
Simple English: Dome
slovenčina: Kupola
slovenščina: Kupola
کوردی: گومبەز
српски / srpski: Купола
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kupola
suomi: Kupoli
svenska: Kupol
Tagalog: Lungaw
татарча/tatarça: Gömbäz
తెలుగు: గుమ్మటం
ไทย: โดม
Türkçe: Kubbe
тыва дыл: Бопурук
українська: Купол
اردو: گنبد
Tiếng Việt: Kiến trúc vòm
Winaray: Simboryó
ייִדיש: קופאל
粵語: 圓頂
中文: 圓頂
Kabɩyɛ: Kiɖe