Origin of Greek

before 900; Middle English; Old English Grēcas (plural) < Latin Graecī the Greeks (nominative plural of Graecus) < Greek Graikoí, plural of Graikós Greek

Related forms

Usage note

The noun Greek in its archaic meaning of “cheater” is usually perceived as insulting to or by Greeks. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for greek

British Dictionary definitions for greek



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
Derived FormsGreekness, noun

Word Origin for Greek

from Old English Grēcas (plural), or Latin Graecus, from Greek Graikos

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

Word Origin and History for greek
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper