[ hel-uh-niz-uhm ]

  1. ancient Greek culture or ideals.

  2. the imitation or adoption of ancient Greek language, thought, customs, art, etc.: the Hellenism of Alexandrian Jews.

  1. the characteristics of Greek culture, especially after the time of Alexander the Great; civilization of the Hellenistic period.

Origin of Hellenism

First recorded in 1600–10, Hellenism is from the Greek word Hellēnismós an imitation of or similarity to the Greeks. See Hellene, -ism

Words Nearby Hellenism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Hellenism in a sentence

  • Even in the best of cases, philologists seek for no more than mere "rationalism" and Alexandrian culture—not Hellenism.

    We Philologists, Volume 8 (of 18) | Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Hellenism, in other words, is as much a prodigy of beauty as Christianity is a prodigy of sanctity.

    The Apostles | Ernest Renan
  • Hellenism was much less worn out than the other religions of the empire.

    The Apostles | Ernest Renan
  • The idea of Hellenism is to see things as they are: the idea of Hebraism is conduct and obedience.

    Matthew Arnold | G. W. E. Russell
  • We shall probably be nearer the truth if we suppose that Livius represents the reaction against an already dominant Hellenism.

British Dictionary definitions for Hellenism


/ (ˈhɛlɪˌnɪzəm) /

  1. the principles, ideals, and pursuits associated with classical Greek civilization

  2. the spirit or national character of the Greeks

  1. conformity to, imitation of, or devotion to the culture of ancient Greece

  2. the cosmopolitan civilization of the Hellenistic world

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