Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large awning, especially one suspended over a Roman theater or amphitheater.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The marginal membrane of certain medusae belonging to the Discophora.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The marginal membrane of certain medusæ belonging to the Discophora.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An awning which was often drawn over the roofless Roman theaters and amphitheaters to protect the spectators from rain or the sun. Also velum.
  • n. [NL.] In zoology, the marginal membrane of certain hydrozoans; the velum. See velum, 4.

Etymologies

Latin vēlārium, from vēlum, sail, sheet, curtain.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, a covering. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The face it presents to the town -- the top of it garnished with two rows of brackets, perforated with holes to receive the staves of the "velarium" -- bears the traces of more than one tier of ornamental arches; tho how these flat arches were applied, or incrusted, upon the wall, I do not profess to explain.

    Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 France and the Netherlands, Part 1

  • The velarium, spread over the cypress avenue, was drawn back, and torches were brought.

    Salammbo

  • The computer-generated parts of the building, particularly the velarium (the canvas roof used to shade the arena's spectators from the sun), did not produce optimal lighting effects within the Colosseum set.

    Sandals, Sweat, and Swords

  • To cast light and shadows on the set at various times of day, cinematographer John Mathieson built a 500-foot section of the velarium suspended on 14 steel towers standing 80 feet high.

    Sandals, Sweat, and Swords

  • "Above the combats of the amphitheatre floated for the first time the awning of silk, the immense velarium of a thousand colors, woven from the rarest and richest products of the East, to protect the people from the sun"

    General History for Colleges and High Schools

  • The velarium, or awning, is advertised in all the inscriptions yet found which give notice of public games.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • Farther down was the now completed Colosseum, around which other thousands stood watching the pigmies who, in dark clusters upon the top and along the edge, laboriously erected the poles upon which, in case of need, to stretch the protecting velarium.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 3, September 1864 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • 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?

    The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • The conservatory, which is seen beyond, is of the kind that is built out over the portico of a front-door, and is plentifully stocked with flowers and hung with a velarium and green sun-blinds.

    The 'Mind the Paint' Girl A Comedy in Four Acts

  • _A fierce sunlight streams down upon the velarium, and through the green blinds, in the conservatory.

    The 'Mind the Paint' Girl A Comedy in Four Acts

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