[jim-ney-zee-uh m]
See more synonyms for gymnasium on
noun, plural gym·na·si·ums, gym·na·si·a [jim-ney-zee-uh, -zhuh] /dʒɪmˈneɪ zi ə, -ʒə/.
  1. a building or room designed and equipped for indoor sports, exercise, or physical education.
  2. a place where Greek youths met for exercise and discussion.

Origin of gymnasium

1590–1600; < Latin: a public school for gymnastics < Greek gymnásion gymnastic school (derivative of gymnázein to train in the nude
Related formsgym·na·si·al, adjective


[gim-nah-zee-uh m]
noun, plural gym·na·si·ums, gym·na·si·a [gim-nah-zee-uh] /gɪmˈnɑ zi ə/.
  1. (often initial capital letter) (in continental Europe, especially Germany) a classical school preparatory to the universities.

Origin of gymnasium

1685–95; < German; special use of gymnasium1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gymnasium

Contemporary Examples of gymnasium

Historical Examples of gymnasium

  • So they left the river and passed the gymnasium and the gate.

  • The temple and walls and gymnasium were all of stone and looked as though they had been there forever.

  • He heard his wonderful brother talk for hours of the life in the gymnasium.

  • 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 plural -siums or -sia (-zɪə)
  1. a large room or hall equipped with bars, weights, ropes, etc, for games or physical training
  2. (in various European countries) a secondary school that prepares pupils for university

Word Origin for gymnasium

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

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