Definition of museum in US English:



  • A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited.

    as name ‘the Museum of Modern Art’
    ‘the museum is noted for its fine fossil collection’
    as modifier ‘a museum curator’
    figurative ‘it is difficult to avoid the feeling that the city is now a living museum’
    • ‘The new museum adds to a number of other museums that have been set up in Kerala on the history of the Church.’
    • ‘The vast majority went to historic buildings and other conservation schemes and to museums.’
    • ‘At present, it is split into a museum on the ground floor and an art gallery upstairs.’
    • ‘The software will be of interest to schools and museums, as well as town planners.’
    • ‘The reason people come to museums, essentially, is to see the exhibits up close.’
    • ‘Worst hit will be the big museums and galleries that have not benefited from the recent large rises in funding.’
    • ‘We know that more people go to museums and art galleries than go sporting events.’
    • ‘The result of their talent and hard work went on display at the museum in an exhibition that is due to end today.’
    • ‘The records of our heritage are preserved in the museums and archives of the country.’
    • ‘However, some of Venice's best art isn't in its museums and galleries, but in the Scuole.’
    • ‘Often the museums are set in buildings that have as much interest as the things they contain.’
    • ‘There are now plans to use the disused ringing chamber as a small museum of church archives.’
    • ‘Than you can go to Shanghai museum, one of the best museums of ancient China in the world.’
    • ‘When she took up her post in 1998, the city's museums and galleries were in poor shape.’
    • ‘Yet public interest in visiting such museums and historical sites is not always so keen.’
    • ‘The building was meant to house a museum for the ancient university in its basement.’
    • ‘There are a number of museums and places of historic interest where old cipher machines are exhibited.’
    • ‘That figure makes the lost art worth more than all the paintings now in American galleries and museums.’
    • ‘For those in search of culture, Milan has numerous museums with rich and varied collections.’
    • ‘The trail included all the exhibitions in the museum as well as the art gallery.’
    record office, registry, repository, chancery
    View synonyms


Early 17th century (denoting a university building, specifically one erected at Alexandria by Ptolemy Soter): via Latin from Greek mouseion ‘seat of the Muses’, based on mousa ‘muse’.