Definition of nymphaeum in US English:



  • A grotto or shrine dedicated to a nymph or nymphs.

    • ‘The spring itself, the pool into which it drains, and the nymphaeum dedicated to the Imperial Cult are essentially as they were in the Roman period, though remodelled by Mareschal.’
    • ‘One exception to Palladio's minimalist approach is the Villa Barbaro, with a nymphaeum set against the hillside behind the villa and so close to the building that it seems an open-air extension of it.’
    • ‘The gardens, with a semi-circular water-theatre and nymphaeum are fed by an axial sequence of waterfalls, and are one of the best and most famous examples of early Italian Baroque landscape.’
    • ‘Until the mid-1st century ad, these were used almost exclusively in fountains and nymphaea, or grottoes, which acted as cool retreats and so had a place in almost every villa.’
    • ‘I would have liked a model of the room with couches and diners in place, showing just how they looked and what they were looking at: both the mosaics on the floor and the view out to the nymphaeum.’
    holy place, temple, church, chapel, tabernacle, altar, sanctuary, sanctum
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Via Latin from Greek.