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[hel-uh-nis-tik] /ˌhɛl əˈnɪs tɪk/
pertaining to Hellenists.
following or resembling Greek usage.
of or relating to the Greeks or their language, culture, etc., after the time of Alexander the Great, when Greek characteristics were modified by foreign elements.
Compare Hellenic (def 1).
of or relating to the architecture of Greece and Greek territories from the late 3rd century through the 1st century b.c., characterized by deviations of various sorts from the proportions and arrangements of the mature Greek orders, particularly in the attenuation of the Doric order, and by innovations in plan and ornamentation.
pertaining to or designating the style of the fine arts, especially sculpture, developed in the area conquered by Alexander the Great from the end of the 4th to the 1st century b.c., chiefly characterized by delicate and highly finished modeling, dramatic, often violent movement of forms in space, representations of extreme emotion, highly individuated characterization, and a wide variety of subject matter.
Compare archaic (def 4), classical (def 6).
Origin of Hellenistic
First recorded in 1700-10; Hellene + -istic
Related forms
Hellenistically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Hellenistic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The painter trained in the school of Hellenistic technique drew with the brush.

    Chinese Painters Raphael Petrucci
  • It is forgotten how completely, in Hellenistic times, religion and philosophy were fused.

  • The Silver Age, the Hellenistic art that followed, is of intense interest.

  • This style represents for us the wall decoration of the Hellenistic age.

  • The Hellenistic age was characterized, in the first place, by cosmopolitanism.

    The Origin of Paul's Religion J. Gresham Machen
  • At this point the contrast with the Hellenistic mystery religions is profound.

    The Origin of Paul's Religion J. Gresham Machen
  • The mound was again occupied in the Hellenistic or Maccaban period.

    Archology and the Bible George A. Barton
  • Beginning with the Hellenistic period, some of the better houses had baths.

    Archology and the Bible George A. Barton
  • In the Hellenistic period two improvements in the making of lamps occurred.

    Archology and the Bible George A. Barton
British Dictionary definitions for Hellenistic


characteristic of or relating to Greek civilization in the Mediterranean world, esp from the death of Alexander the Great (323 bc) to the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra (30 bc)
of or relating to the Greeks or to Hellenism
Derived Forms
Hellenistically, adverb
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 Hellenistic

1706, "of or pertaining to Greece and its culture," from Hellen (see Hellenic) + -istic. Since late 19c., specifically of Greek culture in the few centuries after Alexander.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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