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[vuh-lair-ee-uh m] /vəˈlɛər i əm/
noun, plural velaria
[vuh-lair-ee-uh] /vəˈlɛər i ə/ (Show IPA).
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for velarium
Historical Examples
  • Nero, who carried everything to excess, went further: he caused a velarium of purple to be embroidered with gold.

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

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • The velarium, spread over the cypress avenue, was drawn back, and torches were brought.

    Salammbo Gustave Flaubert
  • Upon the wall of the people's gallery is still seen the ring that held the pole of the velarium.

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

  • This velarium was an awning that was stretched above the heads of the spectators to protect them from the sun.

    The Wonders of Pompeii Marc Monnier
  • The censers were ignited again, and the velarium was removed, for the sun had sunk now considerably.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • He raised his eyes then to the opening of the amphitheatre, over which night had begun to extend its velarium dotted with stars.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
British Dictionary definitions for velarium


noun (pl) -laria (-ˈlɛərɪə)
an awning used to protect the audience in ancient Roman theatres and amphitheatres
Word Origin
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
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