noun, plural pa·laes·tras, pa·laes·trae [puh-les-tree] /pəˈlɛs tri/.

Greek Antiquity. palestra.


or pa·laes·tra


noun, plural pa·les·tras, pa·les·trae [puh-les-tree] /pəˈlɛs tri/. Greek Antiquity.

a public place for training or exercise in wrestling or athletics.

Origin of palestra

1375–1425; late Middle English palestre < Latin palaestra a wrestling school, place of exercise < Greek palaístra, equivalent to palais-, variant stem of palaíein to wrestle + -tra feminine noun suffix of place Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for palaestra

Historical Examples of palaestra

  • Thereupon I led Ctesippus into the Palaestra, and the rest followed.



  • And at that moment all the people in the palaestra crowded about us, and, O rare!

  • Leave the forum, the palaestra, the race-course, and gymnasium?

  • Originally there was no communication between the women's baths and the palaestra.

  • First there was a court, palaestra, surrounded by a colonnade.

British Dictionary definitions for palaestra


esp US palestra

noun plural -tras or -trae (-triː)

(in ancient Greece or Rome) a public place devoted to the training of athletes

Word Origin for palaestra

C16: via Latin from Greek palaistra, from palaiein to wrestle


noun plural -tras or -trae (-triː)

the usual US spelling of palaestra
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 palaestra

see palestra.



early 15c., from Old French palestre (12c.), from Latin palaestra, from Greek palaistra "gymnasium, public place for exercise," originally "wrestling school," from palaiein "to wrestle" (of unknown origin) + -tra, suffix denoting place.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper