sense 1
jim-ˈnā-zē-əm How to pronounce gymnasium (audio)
sense 2 is usually
gim-ˈnä-zē-əm How to pronounce gymnasium (audio)
plural gymnasiums or gymnasia
sense 1
jim-ˈnā-zē-ə How to pronounce gymnasium (audio)
 sense 2 is usually  gim-ˈnä-zē-ə
: a large room used for various indoor sports (such as basketball or boxing) and usually equipped with gymnastic apparatus
: a building (as on a college campus) containing space and equipment for various indoor sports activities and usually including spectator accommodations, locker and shower rooms, offices, classrooms, and a swimming pool
[German, from Latin, school] : a European secondary school that prepares students for the university

Example Sentences

since it was raining, the kids had recess in the gymnasium
Recent Examples on the Web The school, which had 200 students above the school’s 300 capacity, received 24 new classrooms; the cafeteria, bathrooms and gymnasium were not included in the update, Culotta said at the late February board meeting. Sabrina Leboeuf, Baltimore Sun, 22 Mar. 2023 Back in the days when Cass played home games in a snug gymnasium located on the first floor of the former eight-story building which housed CT from September 1922 through the end of the 2004-05 school year, Ogletree tried out for the junior varsity boys basketball team. Scott Talley,, 22 Jan. 2023 Students from 23 Chagrin Valley Conference schools put athletic rivalries aside for a day of collaboration and teamwork during the annual Chagrin Valley Leadership Conference, hosted Nov. 18 in the Beachwood High School gymnasium. cleveland, 24 Nov. 2022 They had been moved to a nearby gymnasium for identification, which was just beginning by 4:30 a.m. local time. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2022 In the basketball gymnasium at Colony High, there is a blank football banner that hangs in hopes of one day having a championship winning season etched upon it. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Oct. 2022 Included in the facility will be a new gymnasium that will take up about 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. al, 8 Aug. 2022 San Diego Unified has plans to renovate Perkins’ campus, including building a gymnasium, new classroom buildings and a larger staff parking lot, and to acquire land for a synthetic turf athletic field. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2023 The plan calls for new gymnasiums at six of the seven public high schools in the county. Ben Thomas |, al, 26 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gymnasium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, exercise ground, school, from Greek gymnasion, from gymnazein to exercise naked, from gymnos naked — more at naked

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of gymnasium was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near gymnasium

Cite this Entry

“Gymnasium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


gym·​na·​si·​um jim-ˈnā-zē-əm How to pronounce gymnasium (audio) -zhəm How to pronounce gymnasium (audio)
plural gymnasiums or gymnasia
: a room or building for sports activities

from Latin gymnasium "exercise ground, school," from Greek gymnasion (same meaning), from gymnazein "to exercise naked," from gymnos "naked"

More from Merriam-Webster on gymnasium

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