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[spahr-tuh] /ˈspɑr tə/
an ancient city in S Greece: the capital of Laconia and the chief city of the Peloponnesus, at one time the dominant city of Greece: famous for strict discipline and training of soldiers.
Also called Lacedaemon.


[luh-koh-nee-uh] /ləˈkoʊ ni ə/
an ancient country in the S part of Greece.
Capital: Sparta.
a city in central New Hampshire.
Related forms
Laconian, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Sparta
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He divided the whole territory of Sparta into nine thousand equal lots, one of which was given to each citizen.

  • The wise legislator of Sparta scratched his ear and gave a sigh.

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • Athens and Sparta were the only cities not visited by his envoys.

  • The spirit of Athens was liberty, while that of Sparta was tyranny.

    History of Education Levi Seeley
  • The wars between Sparta and Athens were the most destructive and tragic of all in this respect.

    The Group Mind William McDougall
British Dictionary definitions for Sparta


an ancient Greek city in the S Peloponnese, famous for the discipline and military prowess of its citizens and for their austere way of life


an ancient country of S Greece, in the SE Peloponnese, of which Sparta was the capital: corresponds to the present-day department of Lakonia
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 Sparta

said to be from Greek sparte "cord made from spartos," a type of broom. Perhaps the reference is to the cords laid as foundation markers for the city.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Sparta in Culture

Sparta definition

An ancient Greek city-state and rival of Athens. Sparta was known for its militaristic government and for its educational system designed to train children to be devoted citizens and brave soldiers. Sparta defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

Note: The term Spartan is used to describe conditions that are low on luxury and designed to produce discipline.
The American Heritage® 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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