Podium Vs Lectern Vs Pulpit

By | May 28, 2022

Revised as of 26 June 2021

At its most basic, a
is something one stands behind, usually to read something or speak about something while a
is the same thing but exclusive to religion. A
is something one stands on, a raised platform, like a conductor or for a performance. It can also be architectural.

American usage frequently uses either
to mean
lectern. Whichever you choose, be consistent. Although, if the story is not based in America, use
when you mean some kind of platform.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a
bête noir
for you from either end.

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Lectern Podium Pulpit

At the Lectern, Redzikowo, Poland, 13 May 2016, by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee is in the public domain courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Three athletes in suits stand on podiums

1932 Olympic Pentathlon Podium
is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

A highly decorated pulpit in blues and gold built onto a wall

Decorative Pulpit
is under the CC0 license, via MaxPixel, <https://www.maxpixel.net/Decorative-Podium-Pulpit-Worship-Christian-Church-3423749>.

Part of Grammar:
Plural: lecterns
Combining Form; Noun;
Verb, intransitive

Plural for the noun: podiums, podia
Third person present verb: podiums
Past tense or past participle: podiumed
Gerund or present participle: podiuming

Plural: pulpits
Stands behind

A tall stand with a sloping top to hold a book, notes, speech, manuscript, etc., from which someone, typically a preacher or lecturer, can read at the proper height while standing up

  • A reading desk in a church on which the Bible rests and from which the lessons are read during the church service

Any similar desk or support

Stands on

Combining Form:

footlike part
of an organism, used in the formation of compound words

A small platform on which a person may stand to be seen by an audience, as when making a speech or conducting an orchestra

[North American] A lectern

  • [In some sporting events] A structure consisting of three adjacent platforms of different heights, on which the competitors finishing in first, second, and third places receive their awards
  • A continuous projecting base or pedestal under a building
  • A raised platform surrounding the arena in an ancient amphitheater

[Architecture] A low wall forming a base for a construction, as a colonnade or dome

[Architecture] A stereobate for a classical temple, especially one with perpendicular sides

[Architecture] The masonry supporting a classical temple

[Architecture] A raised platform surrounding the arena of an ancient Roman amphitheater having on it the seats of privileged spectators

A counter or booth, as one at an airport for handling tickets or dispensing information

[Anatomy, Zoology] A foot or foot-like object

  • The terminal part of a vertebrate limb
  • Any footlike organ, such as the tube foot of a starfish

[Botany] A footstalk or stipe

Verb, intransitive:
[Chiefly US] (of a competitor) finish first, second, or third, so as to appear on a podium for an award

The religious version of standing behind

[Religious] A raised platform or lectern in a church or chapel from which the preacher delivers a sermon

  • [the pulpit] Religious teaching as expressed in sermons
  • Preachers collectively

[[Religious; especially in Protestantism and Judaism] The position of pastor or rabbi
[Nautical; small craft] A raised platform in the bow of a fishing boat or whaler

  • A guard rail enclosing a small area at the bow of a yacht
  • A similar guard rail at the stern

A control booth in a factory, usually elevated and glass-enclosed, from which an operator can observe and direct the manufacturing process

Use as an A/V cart or as a base for a tabletop Lectern to create a 45″ high lectern.

The sound reflected from the lectern arrives toward the rear of the mic, where sound is rejected.

A tabletop lectern can be easily moved from room to room.

They will appear on stage behind a lectern and be able to see and interact with the audience as if they are actually there.

It won’t automatically dim the lights for you, but you can control that from the lectern, too.

Standard on this lectern is a table top cable trap with two power receptacles, and an articulating keyboard platform with an 8’ range of vertical adjustment.

Combining Form:
Parapodia in polychaetes are either uniramous or biramous.

refers to a single continuous growth axis which extends at its apex and produces successive lateral shoots.

“The pseudopodium is a temporary protrusion or retractile process of the cytoplasm of a cell (such as an amoeba or a white blood cell) that functions especially as an organ of locomotion or in taking up food or other particulate matter” (Merriam-Webster).

The conductor has mounted the podium.

“But King just stepped up to the podium and delivered one of the finest speeches of his life” (Jones).

It was more than I could imagine to be up on the podium and singing the national anthem.

Some tall buildings sit on a podium or a base of two or three storeys containing shops or offices if they are in a central business/retail area.

The keep, begun about 1074-6, incorporates much Roman masonry and was raised on the concrete podium of the Roman temple.

Get your tickets stamped at the podium.

Thule manufactures a Rapid Podium Foot Pack designed to be attached to the roof of your car.
The podium is the cylindrical outer part of the tube foot.

A podium may support a cluster of flowers or a single one.

The podium of some echinoderms may also be called tube-feet, which are used to guide their food to their mouths.

Verb, intransitive:
I’ve had great results in the sprint and I’ve podiumed in the individual.

He’s podiumed in five of his past six races.

Four years ago at the Turin Games, skiers and snowboarders could be heard talking casually about their hopes to podium.

I realized it was not worth it to go out and run the 1,600 if there was a chance I wouldn’t podium.

She podiumed at the recently stacked Des Moines Triathlon World Cup.

This is the team in which every rider has podiumed in an NRC event.

Many ministers delivered political guidance from their pulpits.

In attendance were representatives of medicine, the pulpit, and the bar.

The movies could rival the pulpit as an agency molding the ideas of the mass public.

He heard of a pulpit in Chicago that was about to be vacated.

Another concern voiced by some is that the length of the boat does not include the bow pulpit and owners have found their Silvertons don’t fit into their slips.

With its integrated swim platform and bow pulpit, the deck of the 300 Fiesta Vee has the appearance and feel of a larger boat.

Not only are stanchions and pulpits expensive to repair or replace, but they often tear out at the bases, which will cost you even more money.

I hung over the side of the pulpit and saw that the bobstay chain was shackled to the end cap on the bowsprit, so I hunted up a wrench and another shackle.

Noun: lecture, lecturer, lectureship
Verb: lecture
History of the Word:
Middle English from the Old French
letrun, which is from the medieval Latin
lectrum, which is from
to read.
Mid-18th century via the Latin from the Greek
podion, diminutive of
Middle English from the Latin
platform. In the medieval Latin of the Middle Ages, it became

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan . . . which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them . . . and we’ll all benefit!

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Resources for Lectern vs Podium vs Pulpit


Dictionary.com: lectern, podium, pulpit.

Jones, Malcolm. “Martin Luther King’s Nobel Speech is an Often Ignored Masterpiece“.
Daily Beast. 16 October 2014. Web. n.d.

Oxford Dictionaries: podium.

Pinterest Photo Credits:

Women’s Summit
by Hagerty Ryan, USFWS, via Pixnio, and
Decorated Wooden Pulpit, <https://pxhere.com/en/photo/707500>, via pxhere, are both under the CC0 license.
Archbishop Laurus Preaching, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Archbishop_Laurus_Preaching.jpg>, was uploaded by RassaphoreGeorge with UploadWizard, via Wikimedia Commons. The backgrounds were removed from the latter two and resized.

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Podium Vs Lectern Vs Pulpit

Source: https://kddidit.com/2019/06/04/word-confusion-lectern-vs-podium-vs-pulpit/#:~:text=At%20its%20most%20basic%2C%20a,It%20can%20also%20be%20architectural.

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