Word of the Day

the Proms

Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


in the UK, a series of classical music concerts performed every summer in the Albert Hall in London

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The term the Proms, the familiar name of the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, was first used in print in the early 20th century. Those who attend with a standing ticket are called Promenaders or Prommers.


The Proms, also called the BBC Proms, is the informal name given to the series of concerts held in London every summer since the late 19th century. You can read more about this special event and the origins of its name here. The absence of live music and other live entertainment during the pandemic has been a source of sorrow to many, as well as threatening the livelihoods of musicians and many others who work in the creative industries. You might think, therefore, that the return of a beloved and world-famous cultural event would be welcomed by everyone, but you would be wrong.  The return of the Proms, and in particular the programming of its closing concert, has instead become yet another episode in the country’s seemingly endless culture wars.


Ever since it started in 1895, the Proms has pushed musical boundaries and challenged tastes, especially by commissioning new works deemed ahead of their time.

The 2020 Last Night of the Proms, only the second in history to feature a female conductor, would most likely take place in an empty Royal Albert Hall.

Related words

concert, gig, performance, recital

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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