noun Architecture.

a colonnade surrounding a building or an open space.
an open space, as a courtyard, surrounded by a colonnade.

Origin of peristyle

1605–15; < Latin peristȳlum < Greek perístȳlon, noun use of neuter of perístȳlos surrounded with columns, equivalent to peri- peri- + -stȳlos -style2
Related formsper·i·sty·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peristyle

Historical Examples of peristyle

  • Fauces, the passage from the atrium to the peristyle in a Roman house.


    Thomas Roger Smith

  • Tablinum, in a Roman house, the room between the atrium and the peristyle.


    Thomas Roger Smith

  • It had a peristyle of ugly columns at the top of a flight of steps.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • A peristyle that has one such higher colonnade is called a Rhodian peristyle.

  • He was out in the peristyle now, bowing low before the captain-general.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne

British Dictionary definitions for peristyle



a colonnade that surrounds a court or building
an area that is surrounded by a colonnade
Derived Formsperistylar, adjective

Word Origin for peristyle

C17: via French from Latin peristӯlum, from Greek peristulon, from peri- + stulos column
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 peristyle

1610s, from French péristyle "row of columns surrounding a building" (mid-16c.), from Latin peristylum, from Greek peristylon "colonnade around a temple or court," noun use of neuter of peristylos "surrounded with a colonnade," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + stylos "pillar" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper