[ath-uh-nee-uhm, -ney-]
an institution for the promotion of literary or scientific learning.
a library or reading room.
(initial capital letter) a sanctuary of Athena at Athens, built by the Roman emperor Hadrian, and frequented by poets and scholars.
Also, atheneum.

1720–30; < Latin < Greek Athḗnaion temple of Athena, where poets read their works Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
athenaeum or (US) atheneum (ˌæθɪˈniːəm)
1.  an institution for the promotion of learning
2.  a building containing a reading room or library, esp one used by such an institution
[C18: from Late Latin, from Greek Athēnaion temple of Athene, frequented by poets and teachers]
atheneum or (US) atheneum
[C18: from Late Latin, from Greek Athēnaion temple of Athene, frequented by poets and teachers]

Athenaeum or sometimes (US) Atheneum (ˌæθɪˈniːəm)
1.  (in ancient Greece) a building sacred to the goddess Athena, esp the Athenian temple that served as a gathering place for the learned
2.  (in imperial Rome) the academy of learning established near the Forum in about 135 ad by Hadrian
Atheneum or sometimes (US) Atheneum

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1727, from L., from Gk. Athenaion "(the temple of) Athene," in ancient Athens, in which professors taught and actors or poets rehearsed. Meaning "literary club-room or reading room" is from 1799; "literary or scientific club" is from 1864. Athene, Gk. goddess of wisdom, skills, warfare, etc., has a pre-Gk.
name of unknown meaning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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