[ uh-thee-nuh ]

  1. Also A·the·ne [uh-thee-nee]. /əˈθi ni/. Also called Pallas, Pallas Athena. the virgin deity of the ancient Greeks worshiped as the goddess of wisdom, fertility, the useful arts, and prudent warfare. At her birth she sprang forth fully armed from the head of her father, Zeus.: Compare Minerva.

  2. a female given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Athena in a sentence

  • Athene (Roman Minerva) however, the goddess of wisdom, had a character without a flaw, and ranked with Apollo in wisdom.

  • In a tower of the old fort lived a pair of the Eastern little owl (Athene bactriana), which appeared to live principally on voles.

    Mount Everest the Reconnaissance, 1921 | Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury
  • Zeus avoided this peril by swallowing his wife, and himself gave birth to Athene.

  • Thought of gain, and the bent to pursue it, is the shield of Athene over young men in the press of the seductions.

  • It is named as an embroidered pattern in the inscription recording votive offerings of dresses in the temple of Athene at Athens.

    Needlework As Art | Marian Alford

British Dictionary definitions for Athena


Athene (əˈθiːnɪ)

/ (əˈθiːnə) /

  1. Greek myth a virgin goddess of wisdom, practical skills, and prudent warfare. She was born, fully armed, from the head of Zeus: Also called: Pallas Athena, Pallas Roman counterpart: Minerva

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

Cultural definitions for Athena


The Greek and Roman goddess of wisdom. She had an unusual birth, springing fully grown out of the forehead of her father, Zeus. Athena was one of the goddesses angered by the Judgment of Paris, a Trojan, and she therefore helped the Greeks in the ensuing Trojan War (see also Trojan War). Eventually, she became the protector of Odysseus on his journey home.

Notes for Athena

Athena was the guardian of the city of Athens (see also Athens), which was named in her honor.

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