[he-len-ik, -lee-nik]
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Greeks or their language, culture, thought, etc., especially before the time of Alexander the Great.Compare Hellenistic(def 3).
  2. Greek.
  1. Also called Greek. a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, comprising a variety of ancient, medieval, and modern dialects and languages, all of them called Greek.
  2. Katharevusa.

Origin of Hellenic

First recorded in 1635–45, Hellenic is from the Greek word Hellēnikós of, pertaining to the Greeks. See Hellene, -ic
Related formsHel·len·i·cal·ly, adverbnon-Hel·len·ic, adjectivepre-Hel·len·ic, adjectivepro-Hel·len·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pre-hellenic

Historical Examples of pre-hellenic

British Dictionary definitions for pre-hellenic


  1. of or relating to the ancient or modern Greeks or their language
  2. of or relating to ancient Greece or the Greeks of the classical period (776–323 bc)Compare Hellenistic
  3. another word for Greek
  1. a branch of the Indo-European family of languages consisting of Greek in its various ancient and modern dialects
Derived FormsHellenically, 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 pre-hellenic



"pertaining to Greece," 1640s, from Greek Hellenikos, from Hellen "a Greek," of unknown origin. Earliest surviving use is by Homer in reference to a Thessalian tribe.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper