Definition 2021



Ancient Greek


ξῠ́λον (xúlon) n (genitive ξῠ́λου); second declension

  1. (mostly in plural) cut wood, timber
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 8.507
      ἐπὶ δὲ ξύλα πολλὰ λέγεσθε, ὥς κεν παννύχιοι μέσφ᾽ ἠοῦς ἠριγενείης καίωμεν πυρὰ πολλά
      And furthermore gather abundant wood, that all night long until early dawn we may burn fires full many.
  2. piece of wood, log, beam, post
    • 800 BCE – 600 BCE, Homer, Iliad 23.327
      ἕστηκε ξύλον αὖον ὅσον τ᾽ ὄργυι᾽ ὑπὲρ αἴης
      There standeth, a fathom's height above the ground, a dry stump.
  3. cudgel, club, stick
    • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 2.63.1
      οἱ δὲ πολλοὶ αὐτῶν ξύλων κορύνας ἔχοντες ἑστᾶσι τοῦ ἱροῦ ἐν τῇ ἐσόδῳ
      [...] while most of them go and stand in the entrance to the temple with clubs in their hands.
  4. an instrument of punishment: wooden collar, stocks, gallows, stake
    • 460 BCE – 420 BCE, Herodotus, Histories 6.75.2
      ποιέοντα δὲ αὐτὸν ταῦτα καὶ παραφρονήσαντα ἔδησαν οἱ προσήκοντες ἐν ξύλῳ
      For doing this, and because he was out of his mind, his relative bound him in the stocks.
  5. bench, table
    • 384 BCE – 322 BCE, Demosthenes, Against Stephanus 1 33
      ἔστιν οὖν ὅστις ἂν τοῦ ξύλου καὶ τοῦ χωρίου καὶ τῶν γραμματείων τοσαύτην ὑπέμεινε φέρειν μίσθωσιν
      Now, is there any man who would have submitted to the payment of so large a rental for the table, the site, and the books?
  6. tree
    • 430 BCE – 354 BCE, Xenophon, Anabasis 6.4.5
      τὸ δὲ παρὰ θάλατταν πλέον ἢ ἐπὶ εἴκοσι σταδίους δασὺ πολλοῖς καὶ παντοδαποῖς καὶ μεγάλοις ξύλοις
      The land bordering the coast is thickly covered for more than twenty stadia with an abundance of heavy trees of all sorts.
  7. blockhead
  8. a measure of length: 3 or 2⅔ cubits
    • 10 CE – 70 CE, Hero, Geometrica 23.4.11


Other attested forms: plural ξῠ́λεᾰ (xúlea) (inscription in Kos)

Derived terms