[ hel-uh-nis-tik ]
/ ˌhɛl əˈnɪs tɪk /


pertaining to Hellenists.
following or resembling Greek usage.
of or relating to the Greeks or their language, culture, etc., after the time of Alexander the Great, when Greek characteristics were modified by foreign elements.Compare Hellenic(def 1).
of or relating to the architecture of Greece and Greek territories from the late 3rd century through the 1st century b.c., characterized by deviations of various sorts from the proportions and arrangements of the mature Greek orders, particularly in the attenuation of the Doric order, and by innovations in plan and ornamentation.
pertaining to or designating the style of the fine arts, especially sculpture, developed in the area conquered by Alexander the Great from the end of the 4th to the 1st century b.c., chiefly characterized by delicate and highly finished modeling, dramatic, often violent movement of forms in space, representations of extreme emotion, highly individuated characterization, and a wide variety of subject matter.Compare archaic(def 4), classical(def 6).

Origin of Hellenistic

First recorded in 1700–10; Hellene + -istic

Related formsHel·len·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hellenistic

British Dictionary definitions for hellenistic



/ (ˌhɛlɪˈnɪstɪk) /


characteristic of or relating to Greek civilization in the Mediterranean world, esp from the death of Alexander the Great (323 bc) to the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra (30 bc)
of or relating to the Greeks or to Hellenism
Derived FormsHellenistically, adverb

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 hellenistic



1706, "of or pertaining to Greece and its culture," from Hellen (see Hellenic) + -istic. Since late 19c., specifically of Greek culture in the few centuries after Alexander.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper