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  1. an introductory discourse; introduction; preface; preamble.

Origin of proem

1350–1400; < Latin prooemium < Greek prooímion prelude (pro- pro-2 + oím(ē) song + -ion diminutive suffix); replacing Middle English proheme < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related formspro·e·mi·al [proh-ee-mee-uh l, -em-ee-] /proʊˈi mi əl, -ˈɛm i-/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for proemial


  1. an introduction or preface, such as to a work of literature
Derived Formsproemial (prəʊˈiːmɪəl), adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin prooemium introduction, from Greek prooimion, from pro- ² + hoimē song
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

Word Origin and History for proemial



late 14c., proheme "brief introduction, prelude," from Old French proheme (14c., Modern French proème), from Latin prooemium, from Greek prooimion "prelude" to anything, especially music and poetry, from pro- "before" (see pro-) + oimos "way" or oime "song."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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