from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long and open portico within the gymnasium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as xyst.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A generic name variously applied to certain hymenopterous, coleopterous, and lepidopterous insects.


From Ancient Greek ξυστός (ksustos, "xystus"), from ξυστός (ksustos, "scraped"), from ksύω (xuō, "scrape"), referring to its polished floor. (Wiktionary)


  • Next to this "xystus" and to the double colonnade should be laid out the uncovered walks which the Greeks term [Greek: paradromides] and our people "xysta," into which, in fair weather during the winter, the athletes come out from the "xystus" for exercise.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • There are other similar instances as in the case of "xystus," "prothyrum," "telamones," and some others of the sort.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • "xystus" a stadium, so designed that great numbers of people may have plenty of room to look on at the contests between the athletes.

    The Ten Books on Architecture

  • Passing through the tablinum, we enter the portico of the xystus, or garden, a spot small in extent, but full of ornament and of beauty, though not that sort of beauty which the notion of a garden suggests to us.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • The viridarium, or xystus, surrounded with spacious porticoes, was once filled with the choicest flowers, and refreshed by the grateful murmur of two fountains.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • In its general plan it resembled the atrium, being in fact a court, open to the sky in the middle, and surrounded by a colonnade, but it was larger in its dimensions, and the centre court was often decorated with shrubs and flowers and fountains, and was then called _xystus_.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • In front of it is a xystus, fragrant with violets, where the sun's heat is increased by reflection from the cryptoportico, which, at the same time, breaks the northeast wind.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • From the portico we ascend by three steps to the xystus.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • On the south side of these was again a double portico; and on the north, outside the pillars, the _xystus_, or covered porch, where the athletes exercised in winter and in bad weather.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 19, May, 1859

  • The _xystus_, or garden, adjoining the house had been laid out like a Grecian landscape with cypresses and laurels between squares of roses and violets.

    Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) A Novel


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Noun: An indoor porch for exercising in winter.

    October 3, 2008