One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Used in the names of libraries or institutions for literary or scientific study.‘the Boston Athenaeum’
- ‘The exhibition will be shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.’
- ‘He teaches theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.’
- ‘It was held at the Athenaeum, in Warminster, a few years ago and I went along.’
- ‘The city art gallery project, which involved the construction of new galleries and the linking of two existing buildings - the Royal Manchester Institution and the Athenaeum - was a triumph.’
- ‘Tomorrow there will be an Anglo-Japanese evening at the Athenaeum and on Wednesday the usually quiet library will be alive with the sounds of a folk band.’
- 1.1 Used in the titles of periodicals concerned with literature, science, and art.
- ‘Apparently, word around the rumour mill was that he used to date a journalism major who wrote a weekly column for the Atheneum.’
- ‘Published in 1897, his novel Dracula received mixed reviews, summed up in the Athenaeum's grudging praise that Stoker's object, ‘assuming it to be ghastliness, is fairly well fulfilled’.’
- 1.2 A London club founded in 1824, originally for men of distinction in literature, art, and learning.
Mid 18th century: via Latin from Greek Athēnaion, denoting the temple of the goddess Athene in ancient Athens (which was used for teaching).
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