Meaning of temenos in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtɛmənɒs/

nounplural noun temenoi/ˈtɛmənɔɪ/

  • A piece of ground surrounding or adjacent to a temple; a sacred enclosure or precinct.

    ‘According to him, the maidens were able to enter the temenos (sacred precinct) unharmed over a number of years, despite the vigilance of the inhabitants of Ilion.’
    • ‘Extensive quarrying in Byzantine times has removed all evidence of earlier levels here, but topographically a main entrance into the temenos on Temple Hill in antiquity on this side makes the most sense.’
    • ‘This was a typical Romano-Celtic temple set inside a larger temenos, built before AD 100 and probably remaining in use up to the C5.’
    • ‘Comparable colonnade-vestibules are found in several public and sacred buildings, opening into a space within a temenos or a public space.’
    • ‘We cannot rule out the possibility that another large, centrally located temenos of Apollo at Corinth, otherwise unattested in literary sources, has eluded the excavators of Corinth for more than a century.’


Early 19th century from Greek, from the stem of temnein ‘cut off’.