1A hall or court, in various senses.
2Specifically. Frequently with capital initial. An assembly hall (especially as used for ceremonies such as graduation) in a university, college, or similar institution.
Especially with reference to universities in various continental European countries.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Samuel Purchas. From classical Latin aula enclosure, inner court, entrance hall, royal or noble residence, palace, hall, royal or imperial household, body of courtiers, court, in post-classical Latin also university hall of residence or college from ancient Greek αὐλή courtyard, court, hall from the stem of ἰαυειν to sleep, to spend the night from the same Indo-European base as Armenian aw-t‘ place to spend the night, aganim to spend the night.