Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: hymenial and hymenal



From Latin hymenaeus (from Ancient Greek ὑμεναῖος (humenaîos, matrimonial)) +‎ -al. Compare hymen.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /hʌɪməˈniːəl/
  • (file)


hymeneal (comparative more hymeneal, superlative most hymeneal)

  1. Pertaining to marriage.
    • 1806, Jane West, Letters to a Young Lady, volume I:
      I consider these more as the privileges of age, than as part of the hymeneal dowry.
    • 1831, Anna Maria Winter, Thoughts on the Moral Order of Nature, vol. III, IV.3.vii:
      It seems to me that girls ought to be early taught to discriminate, between the characteristic of a hymeneal connexion and of a dishonourable one apparently resembling it.
    • 1850, Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, p. 348:
      "My dear Copperfield," said Mr. Micawber. "This is luxurious. This is a way of life which reminds me of the period when I was myself in a state of celibacy, and Mrs. Micawber had not yet solicited to plight her faith at the "Hymeneal" altar."
    • 1897, Henry James, The Spoils of Poynton:
      Mrs. Gereth evidently thought in these days of little but things hymeneal; for she broke out with sudden rapture in the middle of the week: "I know what they'll do: they will marry, but they'll go and live at Waterbath!"
    • 2005, Catherine Bennett, The Guardian, 23 Jun 2005:
      Is it so difficult to wait until you are out of the register office to exchange some home-made vows and a selection of inspiring hymeneal ditties - To His Coy Mistress, for instance, or some lines from The Hollow Men?
  2. (anatomy) Of or pertaining to the hymen.
    • 1978, AS Byatt, The Virgin in the Garden, page 422:
      ‘It doesn't seem to qualify as a haemorrhage,’ he said, with his usual cocky certainty. ‘Just heavy hymeneal bleeding, I'd say.’


See also[edit]


hymeneal (plural hymeneals)

  1. A hymn, song or poem in honour of a wedding.
    • 1717, Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard:
      For her white virgins hymeneals sing, / To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away, / And melts in visions of eternal day.