Definition of Athenaeum in US English:


(also Atheneum)


  • 1Used in the names of libraries or institutions for literary or scientific study.

    ‘the Boston Athenaeum’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He teaches theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was held at the Athenaeum, in Warminster, a few years ago and I went along.’
    • ‘The exhibition will be shown at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.’
    1. 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’.’


Mid 18th century: via Latin from Greek Athēnaion, denoting the temple of the goddess Athene in ancient Athens (which was used for teaching).