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[jim-ney-zee-uh m] /dʒɪmˈneɪ zi əm/
noun, plural gymnasiums, gymnasia
[jim-ney-zee-uh, -zhuh] /dʒɪmˈneɪ zi ə, -ʒə/ (Show IPA)
a building or room designed and equipped for indoor sports, exercise, or physical education.
a place where Greek youths met for exercise and discussion.
Origin of gymnasium1
1590-1600; < Latin: a public school for gymnastics < Greek gymnásion gymnastic school (derivative of gymnázein to train in the nude
Related forms
gymnasial, adjective


[gim-nah-zee-uh m] /gɪmˈnɑ zi əm/
noun, plural gymnasiums, gymnasia
[gim-nah-zee-uh] /gɪmˈnɑ zi ə/ (Show IPA)
(often initial capital letter) (in continental Europe, especially Germany) a classical school preparatory to the universities.
1685-95; < German; special use of gymnasium1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gymnasium
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The temple and walls and gymnasium were all of stone and looked as though they had been there forever.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • So they left the river and passed the gymnasium and the gate.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • He heard his wonderful brother talk for hours of the life in the gymnasium.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • The soldier tried to get up to me by means of the trapeze and the gymnasium rope.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • She and the other teachers were seated on the raised platform at the end of the gymnasium.

    The Green Satin Gown Laura E. Richards
British Dictionary definitions for gymnasium


noun (pl) -siums, -sia (-zɪə)
a large room or hall equipped with bars, weights, ropes, etc, for games or physical training
(in various European countries) a secondary school that prepares pupils for university
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: school for gymnastics, from Greek gumnasion, from gumnazein to exercise naked, from gumnos naked
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gymnasium

1590s, "place of exercise," from Latin gymnasium "school for gymnastics," from Greek gymnasion "public place where athletic exercises are practiced; gymnastics school," in plural, "bodily exercises," from gymnazein "to exercise or train," literally or figuratively, literally "to train naked," from gymnos "naked" (see naked). Introduced to German 15c. as a name for "high school" (more or less paralleling a sense in Latin); in English it has remained purely athletic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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