Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: athenæum


Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin Athenaeum, from Ancient Greek Ἀθηναῖον (Athēnaîon), from Ἀθήνη (Athḗnē, Athene).



athenaeum (plural athenaeums or athenaea)

  1. Alternative form of Athenaeum: a temple primarily dedicated to Athena or her Roman equivalent Minerva.
  2. An association for the advancement of learning, particularly in science or literature.
    • 1994 June 3, Michael Miner, “Will This Man Save Inland Architect?/A Simple Process”, in Chicago Reader[1]:
      A panel of architects who might loosely be described as the local athenaeum of their profession are awaiting, anxiously, the next edition of the bimonthly journal that bears their names.
  3. The reading room or library of such an association; (figuratively) any reading room or library.
    • 1921, Christopher Morley, Plum Pudding[2]:
      And this, too, may have been not unconnected with the gracious influence of the other sex as exhibited in a neighbouring athenaeum; and was accompanied by a gruesome spate of florid lyrics: some (happily) secret, and some exposed with needless hardihood in a college magazine.
  4. A literary or scientific periodical, especially one similar to the London Athenaeum.


  • "Athenaeum, n.", in the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press.