[ per-ee-ee-sahy ]
/ ˌpɛr iˈi saɪ /

plural noun, singular Per·i·oe·cus [per-ee-ee-kuh s] /ˌpɛr iˈi kəs/.

the inhabitants of ancient Laconia, constituting a dependent people of Sparta, who governed themselves and had a monopoly on trade and manufacture.Compare Helot(def 1), Spartiate.

Origin of Perioeci

1585–95; < Medieval Latin perioecī < Greek períoikoi countryside dwellers, noun use of plural of períoikos neighboring, equivalent to peri- peri- + -oikos, adj. derivative of oîkos house

Related forms

per·i·oe·cic, per·i·oe·cid, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perioeci

  • The whole number taken, whether true-born Spartans or Perioeci, amounted to more than one hundred.

  • The provinces under Spartan rule were divided into thirty thousand parts, a part for each Perioeci family.

  • Besides the Helots, the Spartans exercised an authority over the intermediate class called the Perioeci.

  • They had much the same position as the perioeci in ancient Sparta.