museum

[myoo-zee-uh m]
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Origin of museum

1605–15; < Latin mūsēum place sacred to the Muses, building devoted to learning or the arts (referring especially to the scholarly institute founded in Alexandria about 280 b.c.) < Greek Mouseîon, equivalent to Moûs(a) Muse + -eion suffix of place
Related formsin·ter·mu·se·um, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for museum

museum

noun
  1. a place or building where objects of historical, artistic, or scientific interest are exhibited, preserved, or studied

Word Origin for museum

C17: via Latin from Greek Mouseion home of the Muses, from Mousa Muse
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 museum
n.

1610s, "the university building in Alexandria," from Latin museum "library, study," from Greek mouseion "place of study, library or museum, school of art or poetry," originally "a seat or shrine of the Muses," from Mousa "Muse" (see muse (n.)). Earliest use in reference to English institutions was of libraries (e.g. the British Museum); sense of "building to display objects" first recorded 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper