Try Our Apps


WATCH "Lumbersexual"


[biz-uh n-teen, -tahyn, bahy-zuh n-, bih-zan-tin] /ˈbɪz ənˌtin, -ˌtaɪn, ˈbaɪ zən-, bɪˈzæn tɪn/
of or relating to Byzantium.
of or relating to the Byzantine Empire.
noting or pertaining to the architecture of the Byzantine Empire and to architecture influenced by or imitating it: characterized by masonry construction, round arches, impost blocks, low domes on pendentives, the presence of fine, spiky foliage patterns in low relief on stone capitals and moldings, and the use of frescoes, mosaics, and revetments of fine stone to cover whole interiors.
Fine Arts. pertaining to or designating the style of the fine or decorative arts developed and elaborated in the Byzantine Empire and its provinces: characterized chiefly by an ecclesiastically prescribed iconography, highly formal structure, severe confinement of pictorial space to a shallow depth, and the use of rich, often sumptuous color.
(sometimes lowercase) complex or intricate:
a deal requiring Byzantine financing.
(sometimes lowercase) characterized by elaborate scheming and intrigue, especially for the gaining of political power or favor:
Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship.
of or relating to the Byzantine Church.
a native or inhabitant of Byzantium.
Origin of Byzantine
1590-1600; < Late Latin Bȳzantīnus of Byzantium; see -ine1
Related forms
pre-Byzantine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Byzantine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for Byzantine


/bɪˈzænˌtaɪn; -ˌtiːn; baɪ-; ˈbɪzənˌtiːn; -ˌtaɪn/
of, characteristic of, or relating to Byzantium or the Byzantine Empire
of, relating to, or characterizing the Orthodox Church or its rites and liturgy
of or relating to the highly coloured stylized form of religious art developed in the Byzantine Empire
of or relating to the style of architecture developed in the Byzantine Empire, characterized by massive domes with square bases, rounded arches, spires and minarets, and the extensive use of mosaics
denoting the Medieval Greek spoken in the Byzantine Empire
(of attitudes, etc) inflexible or complicated
an inhabitant of Byzantium
Derived Forms
Byzantinism (bɪˈzæntaɪˌnɪzəm; -tiː; baɪ-; ˈbɪzəntiːˌnɪzəm; -taɪ-) noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Byzantine

1770, from Latin Byzantinus (see Byzantium); originally used of art style; later in reference to the complex, devious, and intriguing character of the royal court of Constantinople (1937). As a noun from 1770.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Byzantine in Technology

jargon, architecture
A term describing any system that has so many labyrinthine internal interconnections that it would be impossible to simplify by separation into loosely coupled or linked components.
The city of Byzantium, later renamed Constantinople and then Istanbul, and the Byzantine Empire were vitiated by a bureaucratic overelaboration bordering on lunacy: quadruple banked agencies, dozens or even scores of superfluous levels and officials with high flown titles unrelated to their actual function, if any.
Access to the Emperor and his council was controlled by powerful and inscrutable eunuchs and by rival sports factions.
[Edward Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Byzantine

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Byzantine

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for byzantine