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 (prŏp′ə-lē′əm, prō′pə-)
n. pl. prop·y·lae·a (-lē′ə)
An entrance or vestibule to a temple or group of buildings. Also called propylon.

[Latin, from Greek propulaion : pro-, before; see pro-2 + pulē, gate.]
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.


(ˌprɒpɪˈliːəm) or


n, pl -laea (-ˈliːə) , -lons or -la
(Architecture) a portico, esp one that forms the entrance to a temple
[C18: via Latin from Greek propulaion before the gate, from pro-2 + pulē gate]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌprɒp əˈli əm)

n., pl. -lae•a (-ˈli ə)
Often, propylaea. a vestibule or entrance to a temple area or other enclosure, esp. when elaborate or of architectural importance.
[1700–10; < Latin < Greek propýlaion gateway, n. use of neuter of propýlaios before the gate =pro- pro-2 + pýl(ē) gate + -aios adj. suffix]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Structural engineers and archaeologists have dug trial pits to investigate the cause of subsidence affecting the massive sandstone Propylaeum at Chester Castle.
The new Folkwang Museum is most rhetorical in its subdued echoes of an artistic Acropolis: it raises classically proportioned pavilions on a low stone podium, approached up stairs or ramp and through a skinny steel propylaeum. But this raising-up is a matter of a few metres.
He was quite insensitive to the 'built heritage'; we had not realised the extent of his roughness until the matter of the Euston Arch arose (it wasn't an arch, of course, but a rather splendid propylaeum).
The first was the wickedly unnecessary demolition of the Doric propylaeum at Euston Station (described in this column, October 2007), closely followed by that of the Coal Exchange in the City of London, that extraordinary structure of both masonry and cast iron that Henry-Russell Hitchcock, in a telegram sent from the us, described as the 'Prime mid-century monument of iron and glass construction, not alone of Britain, but of World'.
Rather, it was a Greek propylaeum: a ceremonial gateway, the largest ever built, modelled on the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens - only the finest gateway of the ancient world being judged symbolically appropriate for such an amazing achievement of the modern world as the first longdistance railway.
Because the republicanism of these writers derives from Machiavelli's Discourses and their liberalism from themes adumbrated by Hobbes, these two giants provide the propylaeum to the study and the sources for continuing reference.
Three distinctive architectural elements were developed in ancient Egypt--the pyramid, the propylaeum or pylon, and the obelisk.
When Euston Station was built as the terminus of the London & Birmingham Railway--the first great trunk railway line linking the capital with the provinces, engineered by Robert Stephenson--the directors decided to celebrate this triumph of Man over Nature by announcing it with a Doric propylaeum or gateway (not a triumphal arch).
Kleihues has made Rationalist buildings that echo pre-War predecessors on each side of the propylaeum, but without quite descending into kitsch; Moore Ruble Yudell have made the huge US embassy now finishing in the south-west corner of the piazza in muted PoMo; Gunther Behnisch (with Manfred Sabatke and Werner Durth) proposed a new arts academy between the embassy and the Adlon on the south side of the square, but progress has been slow because of objections to its free, abstracted glass facade.