One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in ancient Greece) a long portico used by athletes for exercise.
- ‘Xystus was the Greek architectural term for the covered portico of the gymnasium, in which the exercises took place during the winter or in rainy weather.’
2(in ancient Rome) a garden walk or terrace.
- ‘But as in the Greek gymnasium, so in the Roman xystus, the pillared hall is indispensable in front of the garden, which has now become a highly decorated place, and well cared for.’
Latin, from Greek xustos ‘smooth’, from xuein ‘to scrape’.
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