1. This elevated, flat space was originally a raised mound of earth with sloping sides intended to provide dry ground for planting. The name comes from Latin 'terra,' meaning earth. Nowadays, the area is more likely to be paved or tiled, and is a space for lounging or dining beside a home or other building.
2. This outdoor retreat is of Spanish-American design. The inner court or yard 'open to the sky' was first used off ranch homes in California and in the Southwest. Its name came from the French 'pati,' for untilled land and a place for communal pasture. Now, the area is usually made of flat stone or brick, safe for a barbecue grill.
3. From the Dutch 'stoep' comes the word for a flight of stairs that leads to a broad landing at the front door of a house. On a summer night, one might sit here after dinner to catch some air and chat with passersby.
4. In medieval times, this word meant a sacred place or refuge. Often, its courtyard offered fugitives immunity from arrest for up to 40 days. Its name derives from the Latin 'sanctus.' Today, its meaning has been extended to include 'a reserve,' or a quiet few acres in a community set aside for the protection of wildlife.
5. This screened outdoor sitting place is a pavilion of Dutch origin and was originally built of stone or brick with six to eight sides and a fine view. Now, it's more often a small, wooden-roofed shelter also called a turret or summerhouse. Some say that because it typically looks out over a garden, its word origin must derive from a verb 'to see.'
(1) terrace; (2) patio; (3) stoop; (4) sanctuary; (5) gazebo.
SOURCES: 'The World Book Dictionary'; 'Webster's Dictionary'; 'The Oxford English Dictionary'; 'Etymological Dictionary of the English Language,' by Walter Skeat; 'The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology,' by R.K. Barnhart (ed.); 'Brewer's Dictionary of Prose and Fable,' by Ivor Evans; 'A Browser's Dictionary,' by John Ciardi; 'Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins,' by W. and M. Morris; 'A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage,' by B. and C. Evans; 'The Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins,' by Robert Hendrickson.