• A literary institution, lecture hall, or teaching place.

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Example Sentences

“Sandra absorbed more knowledge from the lectures at the lyceum than by just reading books on the same topics.”

“The lyceum circuit featured speakers on topics including T.S. Eliot and James Joyce.”

“Rick was thrilled when he toured the lyceum at his new university.”

Word Origin

Greek, early 19th century

Why this word?

This word takes its definition from the original Lyceum in Athens, the garden in which the philosopher Aristotle taught. The legendary teaching place was named after the nearby temple of Apollo Lyceus, one of the Olympian deities. Apollo is the son of Zeus and the goddess Leto — he’s the god of music and dance, healing and diseases, and archery, among other things. While the word “lyceum” (and “peripatetic“) became paired with Aristotle’s teaching, the facility was in use long before his time, hosting armies for exercise and other philosophers for reflection and study. The word was preserved through the centuries, and a number of literary societies in late 18th-century France and early 19th-century England named their literary societies “lyceums” as a nod to that ancient landmark. 

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