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n. pl. ve·lar·i·a (-ē-ə)
A large awning, especially one suspended over a Roman theater or amphitheater.

[Latin vēlārium, from vēlum, sail, sheet, curtain.]
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 -laria (-ˈlɛərɪə)
(Historical Terms) an awning used to protect the audience in ancient Roman theatres and amphitheatres
[C19: from Latin, from vēlāre to cover]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
Where the huge velarium that Nero had stretched across the Colosseum at Rome, that Titan sail of purple on which was represented the starry sky, and Apollo driving a chariot drawn by white, gilt-reined steeds?
"Velarium covers were introduced for the back of the terrace in 2014, but much of the theatre space remains thrillingly open to the elements, just as it would have been in Shakespeare's day.
Here the figures are much larger and cruder, while the vault itself is not the sky, or heaven, but treated as a stretched patterned velarium or awning, all in pale colours.
Additional components of the swim system include the velarium, which narrows the bell opening during swim contractions, and the perradial frenula, which buttress the velarium but also actively contract with each swim pulsation (Gladfelter, 1973).
According to the archaeologists, several huge blocks of worked peperino stone may have helped support an awning system (velarium) to shade audience from the sun, similar to the Colosseum in Rome.
Instead, their design was similar to that of their successful 2006 production of Titus Andronicus, which featured a translucent "roof" over the Globe theatre that evoked the Roman velarium. For Timon a huge net was stretched across the theatre space--a design that aimed to give the audience the feeling of being in an aviary.
Because the Colosseum was used for public events, a retractable covering, known as the velarium, was added in order to keep the audience comfortable during bad weather.
When she directed Titus Andronicus in 2006 Lucy Bailey hinted both at the gladiatorial blood-lust of the play as well as its internecine destructiveness by mimicking, in a series of black swathes, the velarium off the Roman amphitheater.
PLACIDL tp = placidly PLACIDYL ta3 = deiphically, edaphically VALIUM tp = maulvi VALIUM ta2 = alluvium, impluvia, misvalue, velarium PERCODAN tp = endocarp PERCODAN ta1 = cardphone, endocarps, phonecard DEMEROL tp = modeler, remodel DEMEROL ta1 = modelers, rebeldom, remolade, remodels DILAUDID ta6 = individualized LIDOCAINE ta1 = decisional HYCODAN ta2 = diachylon
`Initially the building's unsatisfactory acoustics were tackled by hanging a huge sailcloth velarium beneath the dome which grew heavier with dust and then, in 1969, by suspending 135 fibre-glass `saucers' high above the arena.
On the other hand, tubulin-immunoreactive nerve networks are found throughout the subumbrellar areas containing swim musculature, including the subumbrella proper, the velarium, and the velarial frenula.
Turns are produced through asymmetrical contractions of the velarium, a circular muscle ring that projects at right angles from the walls of the bell margin (Gladfelter, 1973).