ve·​lar·​i·​um vi-ˈler-ē-əm How to pronounce velarium (audio)
plural velaria vi-ˈler-ē-ə How to pronounce velarium (audio)
: an awning over an ancient Roman theater or amphitheater

Word History


borrowed from Latin vēlārium "curtain" + -ārium -ary entry 1

Note: The sole instance of the word in classical Latin (in a satire of Juvenal) refers to a curtain in a theater; the notion that velarium referred specifically to an awning in an amphitheater is an invention of post-classical antiquarians and lexicographers.

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of velarium was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near velarium

Cite this Entry

“Velarium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?