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1. A usually curved outdoor bench with a high back.
2. An often semicircular portico with seats that was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a place for discussions.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -drae (-ˌdriː)
1. (Architecture) a building, room, portico, or apse containing a continuous bench, used in ancient Greece and Rome for holding discussions
2. (Architecture) an outdoor bench in a recess
[C18: via Latin from Greek, from hedra seat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ex•e•dra(ˈɛk sɪ drə, ɛkˈsi-)
n., pl. ex•e•drae (ˈɛk sɪˌdri, ɛkˈsi dri)
1. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a recess in the wall of a courtyard or other open area, as in a palaestra, used for lectures or meetings.
2. a permanent outdoor bench, semicircular in plan and having a high back.
[1700–10; < Latin < Greek exédra=ex- ex-3 + (h)édra seat, bench]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.