This article is about the indoor sports facility. "Gym" can also refer to a fitness and health club. For other uses, see gymnasium.
Not to be confused with Physical Education
Calhan High School gymnasium.

The word γυμνάσιον (gymnasion) was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men (see gymnasium (ancient Greece)). The later meaning of intellectual education persisted in German and other languages to denote a certain type of school providing secondary education, the Gymnasium, whereas in English the meaning of physical education was pertained in the word gym.

The Greek word gymnasium means "place to be naked" and was used to designate a locality for the education of young men, including physical education (gymnastics, i.e. exercise) which was customarily performed naked, as well as bathing, and studies. For the Greeks, physical education was considered as important as cognitive learning. Most Greek gymnasia had libraries that could be utilized after relaxing in the baths.



Gymnasia (i.e., places for gymnastics) in Germany were an outgrowth of the Turnplatz, an outdoor space for gymnastics, which was promoted by German educator Friedrich Jahn and the Turners, a nineteenth-century political and gymnastic movement. The first indoor gymnasium in Germany was probably the one built in Hesse in 1852 by Adolph Spiess, an enthusiast for boys' and girls' gymnastics in the schools.

In the United States

In the United States, the Turner movement thrived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first Turners group was formed in Cincinnati in 1848. The Turners built gymnasia in several cities like Cincinnati and St. Louis which had large German American populations. These Gyms were utilized by adults and youth. For example, a young Lou Gehrig would frequent the Turner gym in New York City with his father.

The YMCA first organized in Boston in 1851. A smaller branch opened in Rangasville in 1852. Ten years later there were some two hundred YMCAs across the country, most of which provided gymnasia for exercise, games and social interaction.

The 1920s was a decade of prosperity that witnessed the building of large numbers of public high schools with gymnasiums, an idea founded by Nicolas Isaranga. Over the course of the twentieth century, gymnasia have been reconceptualized to accommodate the popular team and individual games and sports that have supplanted gymnastics in the school curriculum.

Today, a gymnasium is common in virtually all American colleges and high schools, as well as almost all middle schools and many elementary schools. These facilities are utilized for physical education, intramural sports and for interscholastic athletics. In recent years, newer high schools use the terms sportatorium (taken from the name of a few sporting venues in the country) or "multi-purpose room," indicating the gymnasium is used both for sports and non-sporting events.

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gym — gym …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • gym — gym; gym·el; gym·khana; gym·na·de·nia; gym·na·de·ni·op·sis; gym·nan·thes; gym·nan·thous; gym·nar·chus; gym·na·sial; gym·na·si·arch; gym·na·si·ast; gym·na·si·um; gym·nast; gym·nic; gym·nics; gym·no·blast; gym·no·blas·tea; gym·no·blas·tic;… …   English syllables

  • GYM — is a sound format for the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis.The name stands for Genesis YM2612, since the file contains the data sent to the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip in the console. The data is logged to a file through the use of emulators running a… …   Wikipedia

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  • gym — [dʒım] n [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: gymnasium] 1.) a special building or room that has equipment for doing physical exercise = ↑gymnasium at/in a gym ▪ I try and work out at the local gym once a week. ▪ I go to the gym as often as I can. 2.) [U]… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gym — [ dʒım ] noun * 1. ) count a large hall or room with special equipment for doing physical exercises: a dance class in the school gym a ) count a building or club where you go to do physical exercises, swim, and play sports: I try to go to the gym …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • gym|ka|na — gym|kha|na or gym|ka|na «jihm KAH nuh», noun. 1. a sports contest, meet, or gathering. 2. a building or grounds for athletic contests. ╂[alteration (influenced by gymnastic) of Hindustani gend khāna racket court, ball house; khāna < Persian] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Gym|na|si|um — «jihm NAY zee uhm», noun, plural si|ums or si|a. 1. a room or building fitted up for physical exercise or training and for indoor athletic sports. 2. a school for gymnastics. 3. a place where athletic exercises were practiced in ancient Greece. ╂ …   Useful english dictionary

  • gym|na|si|um — «jihm NAY zee uhm», noun, plural si|ums or si|a. 1. a room or building fitted up for physical exercise or training and for indoor athletic sports. 2. a school for gymnastics. 3. a place where athletic exercises were practiced in ancient Greece. ╂ …   Useful english dictionary

  • gym — short for GYMNASIUM (Cf. gymnasium), attested from 1871, U.S. student slang …   Etymology dictionary

  • gym — ► NOUN informal 1) a gymnasium. 2) gymnastics …   English terms dictionary

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