[vuh-lair-ee-uh m]

noun, plural ve·lar·i·a [vuh-lair-ee-uh] /vəˈlɛər i ə/. Roman Antiquity.

an awning drawn over a theater or amphitheater as a protection from rain or the sun.

Origin of velarium

1825–35; < Latin vēlārium (a word known only from a passage in Juvenal; the intended sense may be “curtain” rather than “awning”); see velum, -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for velarium

Historical Examples of velarium

  • The stone corbels, pierced with holes to hold the enormous awning or velarium used in wet weather or extreme heat, remain intact.

    The Roof of France

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • Was the velarium on fire; had the machinery for lighting up refused to work; and must they remain in this uncomfortable twilight?

  • The velarium, or awning, is advertised in all the inscriptions yet found which give notice of public games.

  • A velarium was made and put up, and they proceeded to get rid of their President.

    The Life of James McNeill Whistler

    Elizabeth Robins Pennell

  • The velarium, spread over the cypress avenue, was drawn back, and torches were brought.


    Gustave Flaubert

British Dictionary definitions for velarium


noun plural -laria (-ˈlɛərɪə)

an awning used to protect the audience in ancient Roman theatres and amphitheatres

Word Origin for velarium

C19: from Latin, from vēlāre to cover
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