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[proh-thuh-ley-mee-on, -uh n] /ˌproʊ θəˈleɪ miˌɒn, -ən/
noun, plural prothalamia
[proh-thuh-ley-mee-uh] /ˌproʊ θəˈleɪ mi ə/ (Show IPA)
a song or poem written to celebrate a marriage.
Origin of prothalamion
1597; pro-2 + (epi)thalamion; coined by Edmund Spenser Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for prothalamion
Historical Examples
  • It is a bridal ode (prothalamion), to celebrate the marriage of two daughters of the Earl of Worcester, written late in 1596.

    Spenser R. W. Church
  • The prothalamion contains a final record of his disappointments in England.

    Spenser R. W. Church
  • Among the minor poems of Spenser the most delightful were his prothalamion and Epithalamion.

    From Chaucer to Tennyson Henry A. Beers
British Dictionary definitions for prothalamion


noun (pl) -mia (-mɪə)
a song or poem in celebration of a marriage
Word Origin
C16: from Greek pro- before + thalamos marriage; coined by Edmund Spenser, on the model of epithalamion
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 prothalamion

"song sung before a wedding," 1590s, coined as a poem title by Edmund Spenser (based on epithalamion) from Greek pro- "before" (see pro-) + thalamos "bridal chamber" (see thalamus). Sometimes Latinized as prothalamium.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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