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1. an open inner courtyard, esp one in a Spanish or Spanish-American house
2. an area adjoining a house, esp one that is paved and used for outdoor activities
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
An outdoor area, often paved and shaded, adjoining or enclosed by the walls or arcades of a house.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
an inner court open to the sky and often surrounded by a gallery. The patio as a type of architecture goes back to the classical peristyle and is widespread in the Mediterranean countries, especially Spain, and in Latin America.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. An outdoor area or courtyard, open to the sky but enclosed, or partially enclosed, by the walls of a building. Although the term originally described such an area in a Spanish house, it is now widely used for any outdoor recreational space that is adjacent to a house; also See placita
2. A large quadrangle of an early Spanish-American mission, usually surrounded on all four sides by a series of abutting structures for protection.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.