Definition of nymphaeum in US English:


nounPlural nymphaea

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    holy place, temple, church, chapel, tabernacle, altar, sanctuary, sanctum
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Via Latin from Greek.