Definition of propylaeum in US English:


nounPlural propylaea

  • 1The structure forming the entrance to a temple.

    • ‘Distantly inspired by the propylaea on the Acropolis in Athens, it was the first of the ceremonial Doric gateways to rise in modern Europe.’
    • ‘These venturi formed ventilation flues and water storage tanks, together with the entrance propylaea and dramatic earth sculpture, demonstrating the effect the architects were seeking, ‘the earth rises and falls like a human breast’.’
    1. 1.1the Propylaeum The entrance to the Acropolis at Athens.


Via Latin from Greek propulaion, neuter (used as a noun) of propulaios ‘before the gate’, from pro ‘before’ + pulē ‘gate’.