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[jim-ney-zee-uh m] /dʒɪmˈneɪ zi əm/
noun, plural gymnasiums, gymnasia
[jim-ney-zee-uh, -zhuh] /dʒɪmˈneɪ zi ə, -ʒə/ (Show IPA)
a building or room designed and equipped for indoor sports, exercise, or physical education.
a place where Greek youths met for exercise and discussion.
Origin of gymnasium1
1590-1600; < Latin: a public school for gymnastics < Greek gymnásion gymnastic school (derivative of gymnázein to train in the nude
Related forms
gymnasial, adjective


[gim-nah-zee-uh m] /gɪmˈnɑ zi əm/
noun, plural gymnasiums, gymnasia
[gim-nah-zee-uh] /gɪmˈnɑ zi ə/ (Show IPA)
(often initial capital letter) (in continental Europe, especially Germany) a classical school preparatory to the universities.
1685-95; < German; special use of gymnasium1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for gymnasium
  • It is a typical containment for a large nuclear plant, big enough to enclose a high school gymnasium.
  • Public property might include library books or cafeteria trays, while the gymnasium and the playground are public spaces.
  • Usually the maps are set up in a gymnasium or media center.
  • Oversees the use of the gymnasium facilities during student participation in extracurricular activities.
  • As a result, a new gymnasium was built and a student center was remodeled.
  • We turned the corner of the gymnasium to rejoin about a hundred other evacuated persons.
  • Every night the gymnasium echoed as platoon after platoon swept over the floor and shuffled out the basket-ball markings.
  • It is life's gymnasium, not of good only, but of all.
  • gymnasium, squash court, hot and steam rooms available to patrons.
  • Wanting to see her magnificent body in action, he took here down to a gymnasium where they wrestled.
British Dictionary definitions for gymnasium


noun (pl) -siums, -sia (-zɪə)
a large room or hall equipped with bars, weights, ropes, etc, for games or physical training
(in various European countries) a secondary school that prepares pupils for university
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: school for gymnastics, from Greek gumnasion, from gumnazein to exercise naked, from gumnos naked
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
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Word Origin and History for gymnasium

1590s, "place of exercise," from Latin gymnasium "school for gymnastics," from Greek gymnasion "public place where athletic exercises are practiced; gymnastics school," in plural, "bodily exercises," from gymnazein "to exercise or train," literally or figuratively, literally "to train naked," from gymnos "naked" (see naked). Introduced to German 15c. as a name for "high school" (more or less paralleling a sense in Latin); in English it has remained purely athletic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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