Definition 2021


Ancient Greek


Proper noun

Ancient Greek

  1. Any of the various forms of the Greek language of classical antiquity, particularly the classical Attic dialect used in Athenian literature.


Usage notes

  • The period is roughly understood as spanning from the end of Mycenaean Greek during the 12th-century bc Dorian invasions to the advent of Byzantine Greek following the fall of Rome in the 5th century ad. However, the term often excludes archaic forms (such as Homeric Greek) and late forms of the popular language (the "Koine", "Hellenistic", or "Biblical" Greek commonly spoken from the Hellenistic period onward and whose late forms are indistinguishable from Byzantine Greek). Further, Ancient Greek continued to be used as a literary language throughout the Byzantine period and (to a lesser extent) into the present day.
  • The term is also sometimes—as in ISO 639—used more generally for any premodern form of Greek, with a common cutoff date of 1453 (the Fall of Constantinople).



Ancient Greek (plural Ancient Greeks)

  1. A native or inhabitant of Ancient Greece.


Ancient Greek (not comparable)

  1. Of, from, or related to Ancient Greece.
  2. Of, from, or related to the Ancient Greek languages or peoples.

See also

  • Wiktionary's coverage of Ancient Greek terms
  • Appendix:Ancient Greek Swadesh list for a Swadesh list of basic vocabulary words in Ancient Greek

External links