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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.
    • 1849 May – 1850 November, Charles Dickens, “Mr. Micawber’s Gauntlet”, in The Personal History of David Copperfield, London: Bradbury & Evans, [], published 1850, →OCLC, page 290:
      "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 been 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!"
    • 1906 April, O. Henry [pseudonym; William Sydney Porter], “From the Cabby’s Seat”, in The Four Million, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co, →OCLC, page 165:
      In the fulness of time there was an eruption of the merry-makers to the sidewalk. The uninvited guests enveloped and permeated them, and upon the night air rose joyous cries, congratulations, laughter and unclassified noises born of McGary's oblations to the hymeneal scene.
    • 2005 June 23, Catherine Bennett, The Guardian:
      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. Pertaining to sexual relations.
    • 1911, Theodore Dreiser, chapter XI, in Jennie Gerhardt[1]:
      Although the whole earth, not we alone, is moved by passions hymeneal, and everything terrestrial has come into being by the one common road, yet there is that ridiculous tendency to close the eyes and turn away the head as if there were something unclean in nature itself.
  3. (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.