Definitions

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

  • n. An introduction; a preface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An introduction, preface or preamble.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Preface; introduction; preliminary observations; prelude.
  • transitive v. To preface.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A preface; introduction; preamble; preliminary observations prefixed to a book or writing.
  • To preface.

Etymologies

Middle English proheme, from Old French, from Latin prooemium, from Greek prooimion : pro-, before; see pro-2 + oimē, song.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This by the way; but what is more to the purpose is that my first grief for a beloved comrade had expressed itself in the words which were to form the "proem" of my first book --

    The Idler Magazine, Vol III. May 1893 An Illustrated Monthly

  • Alemannus (p. 12, 13) understands of Theophanes as civil language, which does not imply either piety or repentance; yet two years after her death, St. Theodora is celebrated by Paul Silentiarius, (in proem.v. 58 40

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Revolutionary growls and mutterings are common experiences to most intimate workers in the nether places of misery and grinding poverty, and the story told in the proem is but the synthesis of many such experiences.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Literary forms emerge say, the novel after Don Quixote, the proem, flash fiction, icky meta-fiction.

    Working definition of literature

  • This long proem, prefixed to a work intended not to have any, may, however, serve to show how human purposes in the most trifling, as well as the most important affairs, are liable to be controlled by the course of events.

    Chronicles of the Canongate

  • Kabul and the King of Khorasan appearing in the proem.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And the proem to book 6, in praising the city of Athens for the gifts of civilisation, adds that these are, nevertheless, dwarfed by that city's greatest gift to mankind, Epicurus and his philosophy.

    Lucretius

  • At 1. 921-50 (lines which later recur in part as the proem to book 4)

    Lucretius

  • Readers, as they progress further into the poem, are no doubt expected to accumulate the appropriate materials for understanding the proem as in tune with the true Epicurean message, but there is little agreement as to how this is meant to be achieved.

    Lucretius

  • But in the proem to book 5 Epicurus is permitted to go beyond this paradigmatic role, and to become a heroic benefactor of mankind.

    Lucretius

Comments

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  • from Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus"

    January 11, 2009