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A luxury apartment on the top floor of a high-rise building. Penthouses often take up multiple floors and are as large as or larger than some houses. Penthouses are very expensive and are marketed to the wealthy.


Originally, a home built on the roof of a high-rise building, giving the occupant complete privacy. By definition, each building could have only one penthouse. Today, the word is used for any number of apartments or condos on the topmost floors of a building, usually finished out in a very luxurious manner.

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1573-74, the year before the last performance of the cycle, the Pentice underwent major reconstruction; it was enlarged and an Inner Pentice built.
And we might take particular note of something else: from the Pentice the Mayor and his Aldermen could survey the affairs of the entire town at once from their central position; and such surveillance, according to Smith, allowed them to conduct their work of making and enforcing laws, of disc ipline and control.
A schematic of the arrangement, seen from above, with a dozen pageants lined up around the area in front of the Pentice might look something like this old diagram:
The scheme is, bizarrely, an almost exact reverse rendering of the scheme for an amphitheatre, with the pageant wagons at the outer edges (at A) rather than an audience on sloped seats, and the central point (at N) representing the officials in the Pentice rather than the stage.