- of or relating to Greece, the Greeks, or their language.
- pertaining to the Greek Orthodox Church.
- noting or pertaining to the alphabetical script derived from a Semitic form of writing, employing some letters that originally represented consonants for use as vowel sounds, which was used from about the beginning of the first millennium b.c. for the writing of Greek, and from which the Latin, Cyrillic, and other alphabets were derived.
- a native or inhabitant of Greece.
- the language of the ancient Greeks and any of the languages that have developed from it, as Hellenistic Greek, Biblical Greek, the Koine, and Modern Greek. Abbreviation: Gk, Gk.
- Informal. anything unintelligible, as speech, writing, etc.: This contract is all Greek to me.
- a member of the Greek Orthodox Church.
- Hellenic(def 3).
- a person who belongs to a Greek-letter fraternity or sorority.
- Archaic: Usually Offensive. a cheater, especially one who cheats at cards.
Origin of Greek
Examples from the Web for greek
In Greek mythology, the species became associated with numerous gods.The History of the Chicken: How This Humble Bird Saved Humanity
December 27, 2014
The Greek embassy confirmed the death, which has barely registered by the international press.Riding Thailand’s WWII Death Railway
December 21, 2014
That distant whirring sound you hear is a long-dead Greek physician spinning in his grave.Why So Many Surgeons Are Psychos
December 17, 2014
The root of the word irony is in the Greek eironeia, “liar.”Up to a Point: They Made Me Write About Lena Dunham
P. J. O’Rourke
December 13, 2014
But if he heard this combination of Greek and Cuban music, he would be forced to reconsider.The Best Albums of 2014
December 13, 2014
She and her nurse had been stolen from the Ionian coast, by Greek pirates.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
You have seen the Greek word "phone," which means the voice, before.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
We are, on the contrary, fumbling and wallowing about where the Greek pondered and philosophized.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
The Greek Government had put no impediment in the way of arbitration.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
But others argue that these passages are only translations from the Greek.The Dramatic Values in Plautus
Wilton Wallace Blancke
- the official language of Greece, constituting the Hellenic branch of the Indo-European family of languagesSee Ancient Greek, Late Greek, Medieval Greek, Modern Greek
- a native or inhabitant of Greece or a descendant of such a native
- a member of the Greek Orthodox Church
- informal anything incomprehensible (esp in the phrase it's (all) Greek to me)
- Greek meets Greek equals meet
- denoting, relating to, or characteristic of Greece, the Greeks, or the Greek language; Hellenic
- of, relating to, or designating the Greek Orthodox Church
Word Origin and History for greek
Old English Grecas, Crecas (plural), early Germanic borrowing from Latin Graeci "the Hellenes," from Greek Grakoi. Aristotle, who was the first to use Graikhos as equivalent to Hellenes ("Meteorologica" I.xiv), wrote that it was the name originally used by Illyrians for the Dorians in Epirus, from Graii, native name of the people of Epirus.
But a modern theory (put forth by German classical historian Georg Busolt, 1850-1920), derives it from Graikhos "inhabitant of Graia" (literally "gray"), a town on the coast of Boeotia, which was the name given by the Romans to all Greeks, originally to the Greek colonists from Graia who helped found Cumae (9c. B.C.E.), the important city in southern Italy where the Latins first encountered Greeks. Under this theory, it was reborrowed in this general sense by the Greeks.
The Germanic languages originally borrowed the word with an initial -k- sound (cf. Old High German Chrech, Gothic Kreks), which probably was their initial sound closest to the Latin -g- at the time; the word was later refashioned.
It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author -- and not to learn it better. [Nietzsche, "Beyond Good and Evil," 1886]
Meaning "the Greek language" is from late 14c.; meaning "unintelligible speech, gibberish" is from c.1600. Meaning "Greek letter fraternity member" is student slang, 1900.
late 14c., from Greek (n.). Earlier Gregeis (c.1300), from Old French Gregois; also Greekish (Old English Grecisc). In venery, "anal," by 1970. Greek gift is from "Æneid," II.49: "timeo Danaos et dona ferentes."