Definition of prytaneum in US English:


(also prytaneion, prytanaeum)


Ancient Greek History
  • 1The public hall of a Greek state or city, in which a sacred fire was kept burning; especially (in ancient Athens) the hall in which distinguished citizens, foreign ambassadors, etc., were entertained at public expense.

  • 2In ancient Athens: the presiding division of the Council of Five Hundred; the prytanes collectively.

  • 3In extended use: a large public building; a place where people of note are assembled.


Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Grange (fl. 1577), poet. From classical Latin prytanēum and its etymon ancient Greek πρυτανεῖον public hall of a Greek state or city from πρύτανις + -εῖον, suffix forming nouns.