[proh-thuh-ley-mee-on, -uh n]

noun, plural pro·tha·la·mi·a [proh-thuh-ley-mee-uh] /ˌproʊ θəˈleɪ mi ə/.

a song or poem written to celebrate a marriage.

Nearby words

  1. protester,
  2. proteus,
  3. proteus morganii,
  4. proteus syndrome,
  5. proteus vulgaris,
  6. prothalamium,
  7. prothalline,
  8. prothallium,
  9. prothallus,
  10. prothesis

Origin of prothalamion

1597; pro-2 + (epi)thalamion; coined by Edmund Spenser Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prothalamion

  • Among the minor poems of Spenser the most delightful were his Prothalamion and Epithalamion.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for prothalamion



noun plural -mia (-mɪə)

a song or poem in celebration of a marriage

Word Origin for prothalamion

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

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