adytum

noun
ad·​y·​tum | \ ˈa-də-təm How to pronounce adytum (audio) \
plural adyta\ ˈa-​də-​tə How to pronounce adytum (audio) \

Definition of adytum

: the innermost sanctuary in an ancient temple open only to priests : sanctum

First Known Use of adytum

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adytum

borrowed from Latin adytum, borrowed from Greek ádyton, neuter of ádytos "not to be entered," from a- a- entry 2 + -dytos, verbal adjective of dýein "to enter, make one's way into, sink," of uncertain origin

Note: Supposed kinship of the Greek verb with a Sanskrit gerundive upādútyaḥ "to be put on (of a belt)" is apparently groundless, as the Sanskrit word should properly be read as "to be burnt" and hence belongs with Sanskrit dunóti "(s/he) burns," Homeric Greek dédēe "blazes up" (see Karl Hoffmann, "Materialen zum altindischen Verbum," Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, Band 79 [1965], pp. 177-81). The Greek verb is thus deprived of any secure Indo-European comparisons, with the possible exception of Armenian enerk "immersed (something)."

Learn More About adytum

Dictionary Entries Near adytum

adynamic

adytum

adz block

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for adytum

Cite this Entry

“Adytum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adytum. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on adytum

Britannica English: Translation of adytum for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!