[ ath-inz ]

  1. a city in and the capital of Greece, in the southeastern part.: Greek A·the·nai [ah-thee-ne] /ɑˈθi nɛ/ .

  2. Greater Athens, a metropolitan area comprising the city of Athens, Piraeus, and several residential suburbs.

  1. a city in northern Georgia.

  2. a city in southern Ohio.

  3. a town in northern Alabama.

  4. a town in southern Tennessee.

  5. a town in eastern Texas.

  6. any city that is compared to Athens, especially as a cultural center: the Athens of the Midwest.

Words Nearby Athens Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Athens in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Athens


/ (ˈæθɪnz) /

  1. the capital of Greece, in the southeast near the Saronic Gulf: became capital after independence in 1834; ancient city-state, most powerful in the 5th century bc; contains the hill citadel of the Acropolis. Pop: 3 238 000 (2005 est): Greek name: Athinai (aˈθinɛ), Athina (aˈθina)

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 Athens (1 of 2)


A leading city of ancient Greece, famous for its learning, culture, and democratic institutions. The political power of Athens was sometimes quite limited, however, especially after its defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was a noted ruler of Athens. (See also under “World Geography.”)


Capital of Greece in east-central Greece on the plain of Attica, overlooking an arm of the Mediterranean Sea. Named after its patron goddess, Athena, Athens is Greece's largest city and its cultural, administrative, and economic center.

Notes for Athens

In the fifth century b.c., Athens was one of the world's most powerful and highly civilized cities (see also under “World History to 1550”).

Notes for Athens

As the cultural center of Greece, ancient Athens was home to influential writers and thinkers such as Aristophanes, Euripides, Socrates, and Plato.

Notes for Athens

Its principal landmark is the Acropolis, on which stands the remains of the Parthenon and other buildings.

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.