[ koi-ney, koi-ney ]
/ kɔɪˈneɪ, ˈkɔɪ neɪ /


(usually initial capital letter) an amalgam of Greek dialects, chiefly Attic and Ionic, that replaced the Classical Greek dialects in the Hellenistic period and flourished under the Roman Empire.
a lingua franca.

Nearby words

  1. kohutuhutu,
  2. koi,
  3. koilocyte,
  4. koilocytosis,
  5. koilonychia,
  6. koinonia,
  7. koizumi,
  8. koji,
  9. kok-saghyz,
  10. kokako

Origin of koine

1910–15; < Greek koinḗ (diálektos) common (dialect); see ceno-2

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

Examples from the Web for koine

  • But as we were then leaving Koine, and were not yet melted with the grief of absence, I had the courage to resist their demand.

British Dictionary definitions for koine


/ (ˈkɔɪniː) /


a common language among speakers of different languages; lingua franca

Word Origin for koine

from Greek koinē dialektos common language


/ (ˈkɔɪniː) /


the Koine (sometimes not capital) the Ancient Greek dialect that was the lingua franca of the empire of Alexander the Great and was widely used throughout the E Mediterranean area in Roman times
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 koine



common literary dialect of Greek in Roman and early medieval period, 1903, from feminine singular of Greek koinos "common, ordinary" (see coeno-). Used earlier as a Greek word in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper