Adytum

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Adytum The innermost sanctuary or shrine in ancient temples, whence oracles were given. Hence: A private chamber; a sanctum.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n adytum In ancient worship, a sacred place which the worshipers might not enter, or which might be entered only by those who had performed certain rites, or only by males or by females, or only on certain appointed days, etc.; also, a secret sanctuary or shrine open only to the priests, or whence oracles were delivered; hence, in general, the most sacred or reserved part of any place of worship. In Greece an adytum was usually an inner recess or chamber in a temple, as in that of Hera at Ægium; but it might be an entire temple, as that of Poseidon at Mantinea, or a grove, inclosure, or cavern, as the sacred inclosure of Zeus on the Lycæan mount in Arcadia. The most famous adytum of Greece was the sanctuary of the Pythic oracle at Delphi. The Jewish holy of holies in the temple at Jerusalem may be considered as an adytum. The word is also applied sometimes to the chancel of a Christian church, where the altar stands.
    • n adytum Figuratively, the innermost or least accessible part of anything; that which is screened from common view; hidden recess; occult sense.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Adytum ad′i-tum the most sacred part of a heathen temple: the chancel of a church
    • ***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. Gr. , n., fr. , a., not to be entered; 'a priv. + to enter
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L.—Gr. adytona, neg., and dyein, to enter.

Usage

In literature:

Two of the biggest, sir, stood in the adytum to form the baldachin over the Ark.
"Sixes and Sevens" by O. Henry
Nobody was admitted here, except the initiates of the mysteries of the adytum.
"From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan" by Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky
The square itself is perhaps the ground plan of a temple, or adytum of a temple.
"Cleopatra's Needle" by James King
It is, therefore, an adytum and occasions shame.
"Human, All Too Human" by Friedrich Nietzsche
***

In news:

Builders of the Adytum .
***