General English

  • noun a walkway built along the side of the sea


  • A theater-in-the-round production in which the audiencemoves between several locations to follow the action. One of the mostcelebrated promenade plays was 1789, an epic work about theFrench Revolution created by Ariane Mnouchkine's Théâtredu Soleil; the production used five stages and involved the audiencein the action as members of the mob. The Scottish director and playwrightBill Bryden (1942 - ) staged several influential productions'in promenade' after taking over the Cottesloe Theatre (see RoyalNational Theatre) in 1978; these included The Mysteriesin 1985 and plays by Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller.

Origin & History of “promenade”

Promenade was borrowed from French. It was a derivative of se promener ‘go for a walk’, which came from late Latin prōmināre ‘drive forward’. this was a compound verb formed from the prefix prō- ‘forward’ and mināre ‘drive’. It was originally used in English for a ‘leisurely walk’; ‘place for walking’ followed in the mid-17th century, but it does not seem to have been applied specifically to a ‘walk-way by the sea’ until the end of the 18th century. The abbreviation prom dates from the early 20th century. The term promenade concert originated in the 1830s.