• WordNet 3.6
    • adj Greek of or relating to or characteristic of Greece or the Greeks or the Greek language "Greek mythology","a Grecian robe"
    • n Greek the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European family of languages
    • n Greek a native or inhabitant of Greece
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Group. Old Greek Group. Old Greek
Showing the Greek cross form and position of the domes Showing the Greek cross form and position of the domes
Greek Girls Playing at Ball Greek Girls Playing at Ball
The Macmillan Greek Type The Macmillan Greek Type
A stunning blow from the big Greek lexicon A stunning blow from the big Greek lexicon

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are 158 verses in the Greek National Anthem
    • Greek A native, or one of the people, of Greece; a Grecian; also, the language of Greece.
    • Greek A swindler; a knave; a cheat. "Without a confederate the . . . game of baccarat does not . . . offer many chances for the Greek."
    • a Greek Of or pertaining to Greece or the Greeks; Grecian.
    • Greek Something unintelligible; as, it was all Greek to me.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Olympics were originally held for the Greek god Zeus
    • n Greek A member of the ancient Greek race, one of the chief factors in the history of civilization, inhabiting the territory of Greece, comprising part of the southeastern peninsula of Europe and the adjoining islands, and also extensive regions on the coasts of Asia Minor, Sicily, southern Italy (Magna Græcia), etc. As a result of the conquests of Alexander the Great, many parts of western Asia, Egypt, etc., became partly Hellenized. The true Greeks, or Hellences, consisted only of the Dorians, Æolians, Ionians, and Achæans; but the name Greeks, in its widest sense, includes many peoples of different stock, as the Macedonians, Epirotes, Acarnanians, etc.
    • n Greek A member of the modern Greek race, which has descended, with more or less foreign admixture, from the ancient race; especially, a subject of the modern kingdom of Greece.—2. The language spoken by the inhabitants of Greece or by persons of the Greek race. Greek is a branch of the great Indo-European family of languages, being thus ultimately akin to English. Ancient Greek comprised a large number of dialects spoken in Greece proper, and on the coasts of Asia Minor and the adjacent islands, as well as in the numerous colonies of Greeks along the coast of the Mediterranean and Black seas, from Syria and Egypt to Italy, Sicily, and Spain. Of these dialects, four are usually distinguished as having received literary cultivation, namely, Ionic, Doric, Æolic, and Attic. The Old Ionic appears in the Homeric poems (hence also called Epic); the New Ionic in the histories of Herodotus. The Doric includes a number of different dialects usually characterized as “rough” or “broad,” as contrasted with Attic or Ionic, namely, Dorian, Laconian, Corinthian, Megarian, Delphian, Rhodian, Cretan, Cyrenian, Syracusan, etc., literary remains being scant (Theocritus, etc.). Æolic includes Lesbian, Bœtian, Thessalian, etc., also with scant literary remains (Pindar, Alcæus, Sappho, etc.). Doric and Æolic are made to include many other dialects loosely classified under these names. The Attic, the dialect of Athens, became the standard literary tongue of Greece, and contains nearly the whole of Greek literature. In its later form, as the common dialect, it became the general language of the Greek peoples. As the common speech at Alexandria and in Palestine, it was the language in which the Old Testament became current (the Septuagint), and in which the New Testament was written. It continued, with slight changes, to be the literary language of the Greek world until the fall of the Eastern Empire; and the popular spoken form, with profound internal changes, has continued to the present day, being now the standard language of the new kingdom of Greece, and showing a strong tendency, under the fostering care of patriotic scholars and teachers, to resume the external forms of the ancient Greek.. (See Romaic.) The Greek language is embodied in a literature of extraordinary variety, extent, and permanent interest, comprising works which take the first rank in nearly all the forms of literary art, and have been the accepted models of Roman and modern literature. The language is highly synthetic, having an unlimited facility of derivation and composition; and by reason of this characteristic, and of its richness in idiomatic particles and condensed forms of expression, it lends itself to all the forms of literary art. Its vocabulary is extremely copious, and has been drawn upon freely by the Latin and by modern tongues, being now, with the Latin, the accepted storehouse from which the new terms needed by modern science are generally derived. Together with Latin, the Greek language has long formed the accepted basis of a scholarly education. Modern interest in its study dates from the fifteenth century, when the Turkish inroads upon the Byzantine empire, and particularly the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, caused the permanent settlement of many Greek scholars in Italy, and hence influenced profoundly the development of the Renaissance. (See Renaissance.) Greek is divided chronologically, in the etymologies of this work, into Greek proper (Gr.), ancient or classical Greek to about the year a. d. 200; late Greek (LGr.), from that time till about a. d. 600; middle Greek (MGr.), till about a. d. 1500; and modern or new Greek (NGr.), since that date; these periods corresponding to similar periods of Latin. (See Latin.) Middle and New Greek are also called Romaic. Greek is usually printed in type imitated from the forms of letters used in the later manuscripts. the most ancient manuscripts and the inscriptions exhibit only the capital or uncial forms, without accents and without separation of words. The small letters are comparatively modern. Since it is the only language printed in this dictionary in other than Roman letters, the Greek alphabet, with the Roman equivalents, is here given: Form. Equivalent. Name. Α  α a Alpha Β  β b Beta Γ  γ g Gamma Δ  δ d Delta Ε  ε e (short) Epsilon Ζ  ζ z Zeta Η  η e (long) Eta Θ  θ, ν th Theta Ι  ι i Iota Κ  κ k or hard c Kappa Λ  λ l Lambda Μ  μ m Mu Ν  ν n Nu Ξ  ξ x Xi Ο  ο o (short) Omicron Π  π P Pi Ρ  ρ r Rho *ς  σ, ς s Sigma Τ  τ t Tau Υ  υ u Upsilon Φ  φ ph phi Χ  χ ch Chi Ψ  ψ ps Psi Ω  ω o (long) Omega. Often abbreviated Greek
    • n Greek Any language of which one is ignorant; unmeaning words; unintelligible jargon: in allusion to the proverbial remoteness of Greek from ordinary knowledge, and usually with special allusion to the unfamiliar characters in which it is printed.
    • n Greek A cunning knave; a rogue; an adventurer.
    • n Greek In entomology, the English equivalent of Achivus, a name given by Linnæus to certain long-winged butterflies of his group Equites, most of which are now included in the genus Papilio. They were distinguished from the Trojans by not having crimson spots on the wings and breast. See Trojan.
    • Greek Of or pertaining to Greece or the Greeks; Grecian; Hellenic.
    • Greek Greek painting, from the fame in antiquity of such artists as Polygnotus, Zeuxis, Apelles, Parrhasius, cannot have been behind its fellow-arts; but all the originals have perished, and the materials for study include little more than the pale reflections afforded by Pompeiian and other Roman wall-paintings, by some frescoed tombs in Italy, Greece, and the Crimea, and by one or two painted sarcophagi of Etruria and of Asia Minor.
    • Greek Greek sculpture developed comparatively late, but by the beginning of the fifth century b. c. it had gained a position on a par with that of architecture. The earliest Greek sculpture was in wood (see xoanon); all examples of it have perished. Later, this was imitated in stone (of which an Artemis of the seventh century b. c., found at Delos, is a good specimen) and in bronze, the first use of the latter material being ascribed to the artists of Chios and Samos. In the latter half of the sixth century were produced the beautiful painted archaic statues which, until they were unearthed during the last decade, remained buried on the Athenian Acropolis from the time of their entombment during the improvements which followed the Persian wars. (See archaic.) The Æginetan marbles (see Æginetan) of the beginning of the fifth century mark the last period of the archaic. The remainder of the fifth century was the period of Phidias (see ethos, 2) and the artists grouped about his name, as Myron and Polycletus. In the following century majesty and the lofty ideal gave place to a more individual and intimate quality (pathos) and to grace, of which Praxiteles was the most prominent exponent, with Scopas and others hardly less famous. The abundant and charming Greek terra-cottas throw a side light on Greek sculpture akin to that supplied by painted vases for the study of Greek painting.
    • Greek The architecture of the Greeks was developed from a primitive framed inclosure in wood or rough stones, with a sloped roof to shed the rain. As fully developed it implies the presence of columns, both as supports and for ornament, in a system of lintel construction (see entablature), or vertical resistance to superimposed weight. The arch was known to the Greeks, but was practically never employed by them where it could be seen. The most typical production of Greek architecture is the peripteros, or temple of which the cella is entirely inclosed by ranges of columns supporting a low gabled roof. The normal plan of such buildings is rectangular, the length being slightly more than twice the breadth; but the exigencies of special use or of the nature of the site often led to wide deviations from the type, as in the Erechtheum at Athens; and circular buildings of various kinds were not uncommon. The idea of the column was probably imported from Egypt (Doric) and from Assyria (Ionic), as were many motives of decoration, as the fret, and the anthemion, which was derived in direct line, though transformed, from the lotus-blossom. (For the Greek orders, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, see these words.) Greek architecture found its highest expression in stone, particularly in marble. The structures in wood have, of course, perished, and must be studied from allusions in literature and inscriptions, from certain details of stone buildings, and such remains as the terra-cotta copings of some Athenian tombs, of which the edicules in wood have disappeared, and in vase-paintings. Baked bricks are rare or not found in truly Greek work, unless possibly in prehistoric times. Much use, however, was made of unburned brick, even at a comparatively late date, and considerable remains of such work have been found at Olympia, at Eleusis, and elsewhere. The marble buildings of the period of perfection, simple and imposing in their general composition, were enriched with statuary and sculptured ornament and brilliantly colored (see polychromy in architecture, under polychromy) to bring out all their details with full effect in the clear air of the Mediterranean. Until Macedonian preponderance had vitiated the ideals of independent Greece, all this magnificence of art was reserved for the glory of the gods and the public buildings of the state. Luxury in private life was not approved, private houses being small and plain. See masonry (Greek).
    • Greek To imitate the Greeks: with an indefinite it.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: At the height of its power (400 BC) the Greek city of Sparta had 500,000 slaves and only 25,000 citizens.
    • adj Greek grēk Grecian
    • n Greek a Grecian: the language of Greece:
    • n Greek (B.) a Greek by race, or more frequently a Gentile as opposed to a Jew, a Hellenising Jew, a Jew naturalised in foreign countries: a cunning rogue, a merry fellow: any language of which one is ignorant, jargon, anything unintelligible
    • ***


  • Benjamin Franklin
    “Clearly spoken, Mr. Fogg; you explain English by Greek.”
  • Germaine De Stael
    Germaine De Stael
    “The sense of this word among the Greeks affords the noblest definition of it; enthusiasm signifies God in us.”
  • Albert Camus
    “Whereas the Greeks gave to will the boundaries of reason, we have come to put the will's impulse in the very center of reason, which has, as a result, become deadly.”
  • Themistocles
    “The Athenians govern the Greeks; I govern the Athenians; you, my wife, govern me; your son governs you.”
  • Socrates
    “I am not an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “It was Greek to me.”


Greek to me - If you don't understand something, it's all Greek to you.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. grec, L. Graecus, Gr. ?: cf. F. grec,. Cf. Grecian


In literature:

Over these local religions had been thrown throughout the Empire the covering fabric of Greek mythology.
"Landmarks in the History of Early Christianity" by Kirsopp Lake
He wept when he won a victory over Greeks; 'for he loved all Greeks and only hated barbarians'.
"Five Stages of Greek Religion" by Gilbert Murray
The proper old name of Greece was Hellas, and the people whom we call Greeks called themselves Hellenes.
"Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Greek History" by Charlotte M. Yonge
I'll be looking forward to the time when you can visit us at the Greek Letter Ranch.
"Mystery Ranch" by Arthur Chapman
Coburn saw Hallen, the American colonel, the Greek general, and a Greek colonel.
"The Invaders" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The measure, as used by the early Greeks, is essentially lyrical and impassioned.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 3" by Various
In Italy a decline in the knowledge of Greek in the 5th and 6th centuries led to an estrangement between the Greek and Latin Churches.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 4" by Various
And I, do I know, perchance whether I am Greek or Iberian?
"Sónnica" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
At Chaeronea, Greek liberty, Greek heroism, and Greek love, properly so-called, expired.
"A Problem in Greek Ethics" by John Addington Symonds
In an hour's time the Greek damsel returned.
"The Lion of Janina" by Mór Jókai

In poetry:

Glad news of sight unto the blind;
Of light unto the dark'ned mind;
Of healing to the deadly sick;
And mercy both to Jew and Greek.
"The Believer's Principles : Chap. II." by Ralph Erskine
O Beauty, old yet ever new!
Eternal Voice, and Inward Word,
The Logos of the Greek and Jew,
The old sphere-music which the Samian heard!
"The Shadow And The Light" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Egypt and Tyre, and Greek and Jew,
Shall there begin their lives anew;
Angels and men shall join to sing
The hill where living waters spring.
"Psalm 87" by Isaac Watts
Greek Original:
Του μαγαζιού
Τα τύλιξε προσεκτικά, με τάξι
σε πράσινο πολύτιμο μετάξι.
"Of The Shop" by Constantine P Cavafy
I am made all things to all men—
Hebrew, Roman, and Greek—
In each one's tongue I speal,
Suiting to each my word,
That some may be drawn to the Lord!
"At His Execution" by Rudyard Kipling
Once to many a pealing shriek,
Lo, from Ilion's topmost tower,
Ilion's fierce prophetic flower
Cried the coming of the Greek!
Black in Hades sits the hour.
"Cassandra" by George Meredith

In news:

VESTAVIA HILLS, Alabama — The Greek restaurant tradition in Birmingham is almost as old as the city itself.
The Hellinikon airport site could bolster Greek GDP by 0.3% over 10 years, according to a fund spokesman.
European policymakers want to avoid Greek default and keep Greece in the eurozone.
One couple's search for the best Sichuan, Thai, Korean, Indian, Mexican, Cuban, Greek, Lebanese, and Nepalese cooking in the city's ethnic-food mecca.
More Bondholders Join Greek Debt Swap Before Thursday Deadline.
We have everything from steak to Mexican to Greek to Indian food and everything in between.
Students who can read the Hippocratic Oath in the original Greek may be more likely than their peers to get into medical school.
Preventing a Greek default will not reverse the lackluster growth that has plagued the other vulnerable countries for many years now.
After watching his timber company crash to pieces, literally before his eyes, the narrator in the 1964 movie "Zorba the Greek" hangs his head for a few moments.
Greek citizens know all about soft money, and they don't like it.
US stocks opened higher Thursday after Greek leaders agreed to cost-cutting measures that should prevent the country from defaulting on its debt next month.
Greek Orthodox clergymen sweep the floor of the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Musician Tom Gabel of Against Me performs at the Greek Theatre on Aug 6, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
An advertisement featuring Greek euro currency notes are seen through a metro train window in Athens, Greece.
The ancient Greeks had several different words to describe the variations love can take.

In science:

We use lower case greek letters for elements in I , and denote by Hµ the underlying vector space for a representation isomorphic to µ ∈ I .
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
Latin letters are used for transverse indices and Greek letters for space-time indices.
Gravitational radiation, energy and reaction on quasi-spherical black holes
In these formulas the greek indices are lowered and raised with the help of the antisymmetric tensor εαβ : aα = Pβ εαβ aβ .
An example of simple Lie superalgebra with several invariant bilinear forms
Typically strings in {0, 1, ⊥}∗ will be used to represent partial ly defined languages or partially defined subsets of IN, and will generally be represented by lower-case greek letters.
Independence Properties of Algorithmically Random Sequences
In the case of a spherical singularity such as the one of the jellium Anderson model, there are two natural and acceptable solutions to the splitting into sectors: - split the spherical shell of width M −j into roughly M (d−1)j sectors (noted by Greek letters such as α or σ) with same size in all directions.
Random Matrices and the Anderson Model