Definition of proem in English:


Pronunciation /ˈprōˌem/ /ˈproʊˌɛm/


  • A preface or preamble to a book or speech.

    ‘The proem to the Ode ‘On the Morning of Christ's Nativity’ describes the poem as both a ‘hymn’ and a ‘humble ode.’’
    • ‘‘The Hymn’ that follows the proem presents an array of conflicting, powerful voices, whether divine, human, natural, bestial, or demonic.’
    • ‘In the first five lines, however, Archytas provides a proem on the value of the sciences (mathêmata) in general.’
    • ‘The book's epigraph-like proem is a hint of what's to come.’
    • ‘This larger context is the proem, or introductory poem, which prefaced the invocation.’
    beginning, start, outset, inception, launch, birth, dawn


Late Middle English from Old French proeme, via Latin from Greek prooimion ‘prelude’, from pro ‘before’ + oimē ‘song’.