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[uh-krop-uh-lis] /əˈkrɒp ə lɪs/
the citadel or high fortified area of an ancient Greek city.
the Acropolis, the citadel of Athens and the site of the Parthenon.
Origin of acropolis
From the Greek word akrópolis, dating back to 1655-65. See acro-, -polis
Related forms
[ak-ruh-pol-i-tn] /ˌæk rəˈpɒl ɪ tn/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for acropolis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he entered the acropolis a conqueror,” says our Scribe; “he won the battle.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • He turned him back, and led him without further delay into the acropolis.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • As it chanced, the senate of the Athenians was holding a session on the acropolis.

    Hellenica Xenophon
  • He had made love to her, there on the acropolis, at sunset, as she had said.

    Adam Johnstone's Son

    F. Marion Crawford
  • He distinctly says that before the time of Theseus, the acropolis was the city.

British Dictionary definitions for acropolis


the citadel of an ancient Greek city
Word Origin
C17: from Greek, from acro- + polis city


the citadel of Athens on which the Parthenon and the Erechtheum stand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acropolis

1660s, from Greek akropolis "citadel" (especially that of Athens), from akros "highest, upper" (see acrid) + polis "city" (see polis).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acropolis in Culture
Acropolis [(uh-krop-uh-lis)]

The fortified high point of ancient Athens. Once the center of Athenian life, the Acropolis is now the site of famous ruins, including the Parthenon. In Greek, the word means “high” (acro) “city” (polis).

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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