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

Examples of gymnasium in a Sentence

since it was raining, the kids had recess in the gymnasium
Recent Examples on the Web The first floor of the home will hold an impressive 950-square-foot gymnasium, a sauna and steam room, a study, an office, three living rooms, two kitchens, and two dining rooms. Wendy Bowman, Robb Report, 27 June 2024 Maintain a safe distance from windows and avoid seeking refuge in large open rooms like cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums. Star-Telegram Bot, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 22 May 2024 Her parents’ Big Wave Event Production Co. turns spaces such as gymnasiums into event venues using draperies, lighting, audio and video. Pamela McLoughlin, Hartford Courant, 11 Apr. 2024 Loading your audio article In glass displays in the foyer outside Saint Joseph Notre Dame’s gymnasium in Alameda stands a Jason Kidd time capsule. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 6 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for gymnasium 

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 22 Jul. 2024.

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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