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[per-uh-stahyl] /ˈpɛr əˌstaɪl/
noun, Architecture.
a colonnade surrounding a building or an open space.
an open space, as a courtyard, surrounded by a colonnade.
Origin of peristyle
1605-15; < Latin peristȳlum < Greek perístȳlon, noun use of neuter of perístȳlos surrounded with columns, equivalent to peri- peri- + -stȳlos -style2
Related forms
peristylar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for peristyle
Historical Examples
  • Its œcus was but a large chamber between the peristyle and a garden.

    The Wonders of Pompeii Marc Monnier
  • But she paused before the peristyle, turning to face the people again.

    The Royal Pawn of Venice Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull
  • Taurus Antinor emerged alone from the peristyle of Caius Nepos' house.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • At the bottom of the peristyle, on the right, is a triclinium.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • It encloses a garden surrounded by a peristyle, and hence takes the name of peristylium.

  • Fauces, the passage from the atrium to the peristyle in a Roman house.

    Architecture Thomas Roger Smith
  • The peristyle was walled up, and arches were cut through the walls of the cella, exactly as in the great church of Syracuse.

  • Tablinum, in a Roman house, the room between the atrium and the peristyle.

    Architecture Thomas Roger Smith
  • A corridor (p), both ends of which could be closed, led from the first to the second peristyle.

  • A peristyle that has one such higher colonnade is called a Rhodian peristyle.

British Dictionary definitions for peristyle


a colonnade that surrounds a court or building
an area that is surrounded by a colonnade
Derived Forms
peristylar, adjective
Word Origin
C17: via French from Latin peristӯlum, from Greek peristulon, from peri- + stulos column
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 peristyle

1610s, from French péristyle "row of columns surrounding a building" (mid-16c.), from Latin peristylum, from Greek peristylon "colonnade around a temple or court," noun use of neuter of peristylos "surrounded with a colonnade," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + stylos "pillar" (see stet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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