In the Mediterranean Basin and the Near East, a kiosk (Persian كوشك Kushk; Turkish köşk; French kiosque) is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, India, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward. Today, there are many kiosks in and around the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, and kiosks are still a relatively common sight in Greece. Turkish kiosks are usually polygonal. During the 18th century, Turkish influences in Europe established the kiosk (gazebo) as an important feature in European gardens. The word kiosk is of Persian origin.
In English-speaking countries, a kiosk is a booth with an open window on one side. Some vendors operate from kiosks, selling small, inexpensive consumables such as newspapers, magazines, lighters, street maps, cigarettes, and confections.
An information kiosk (or information booth) dispenses free information in the form of maps, pamphlets, and other literature, and/or advice offered by an attendant.
An electronic kiosk (or computer kiosk) houses a computer terminal that often employs custom software designed to function flawlessly while preventing users from accessing system functions. Indeed, kiosk mode is a euphemism for such a mode of software operation. Computerized kiosks may store data locally, or retrieve it from a computer network (see also Internet kiosk). Some computer kiosks provide a free, informational public service, while others serve a commercial purpose. Touchscreens, trackballs, computer keyboards, and pushbuttons are all typical input devices for interactive computer kiosk.