Definition of proem in English:



  • A preface or preamble to a book or speech.

    • ‘This larger context is the proem, or introductory poem, which prefaced the invocation.’
    • ‘The book's epigraph-like proem is a hint of what's to come.’
    • ‘In the first five lines, however, Archytas provides a proem on the value of the sciences (mathêmata) in general.’
    • ‘The proem to the Ode ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ describes the poem as both a ‘hymn’ and a ‘humble ode.’’
    • ‘‘The Hymn’ that follows the proem presents an array of conflicting, powerful voices, whether divine, human, natural, bestial, or demonic.’
    beginning, start, outset, inception, launch, birth, dawn
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Late Middle English: from Old French proeme, via Latin from Greek prooimion ‘prelude’, from pro ‘before’ + oimē ‘song’.