pro·​naos | \ (ˈ)prō+ \
plural pronaoi

Definition of pronaos

: the outer part of an ancient Greek temple forming a portico immediately in front of the cella and delimited by the front wall of the cella and the columns or the antae and columns also : the narthex of an early church

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for pronaos

Latin, from Greek, from pronaos situated in front of a temple, from pro- pro- entry 1 + naos temple

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pronaos

Statistics for pronaos

Cite this Entry

“Pronaos.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

Comments on pronaos

What made you want to look up pronaos? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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