[prit-n-ee-uh m]


a public building in ancient Greece, containing the symbolic hearth of the community and commonly resembling a private dwelling in plan, used as a community meeting place and as a lodging for guests of the community.

Origin of prytaneum

1590–1600; < Latin prytanēum < Greek prytaneîon, akin to prýtanis prince, ruler, chief Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prytaneum

Historical Examples of prytaneum

  • And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.



  • And he took the Sappho from the Prytaneum, the work of Silanion!

    Life of Cicero

    Anthony Trollope

  • The leaf was accordingly placed in a vessel of water, to preserve its freshness until Clinias returned from the Prytaneum.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • If Athenian, he was entitled to a place by the magistrates in the Prytaneum; if a Spartan, to a prominent station in the field.

  • On the evening of the day of assembly a great banquet was held in the Prytaneum, or Town-hall of Athens.


    Alfred John Church

British Dictionary definitions for prytaneum


noun plural -nea (-ˈniːə)

the public hall of a city in ancient Greece

Word Origin for prytaneum

Latin, from Greek prutaneion, from prutanis, prutaneus
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